When was the last time you thought about your home’s dryer vent? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about them very often. Most homeowners overlook this task with the assumption that they only have to remove the lint trap after each use. However, as time passes, lint may build up in the dryer vent, leading to significant problems ranging from decreased efficiency to dangerous fire hazards.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is an estimated average of 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year.
So with that being said, let’s talk about whether or not you need a professional to clean your dryer vents.
What Are Dryer Vents?
First, let’s define what dryer vents are. Dryer vents are the tubes that connect your dryer to the outside exhaust vent. These vents allow hot air to escape from the dryer and prevent the buildup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide.
The buildup of lint and other debris in the dryer vent can cause problems, including increased energy usage and even fires. As time passes, lint and dust accumulate in the dryer vent, reducing the efficiency of your dryer.
Why Should You Clean Your Dryer Vents?
Cleaning your dryer vents is important for several reasons. First, it helps to prevent fires. As we already mentioned, according to the NFPA, there are over 15,000 house fires caused by dryers each year. These fires caused an average of 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage.
If that isn’t enough, having your dryer vents cleaned helps your dryer run more efficiently, which can save you money on energy bills.
Lastly, it reduces the wear and tear on your dryer, which can extend its lifespan. Which saves you from dealing with the hassle of finding a new one as well as the cost. If you take a look at the pricing, on average you can spend $200-$800 for the installation of a new dryer vent, plus the cost of the dryer which can run you around $800-$1200.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vents?
So, how often should you clean your dryer vents? The answer to this question depends on the type of dryer you have, how often you use it, and how long your dryer vent is.
In general, it’s recommended that you clean your dryer vents at least once a year. However, if you have a large family and use your dryer frequently, you may need to clean your vents more often.
For example, if you have several kids and pets, you’ll most likely be using it more often. Which means you’ll need to clean it more often.
Do I Need A Professional To Clean My Dryer Vents Or Can I Clean Them Myself?
You may be wondering if you need to hire a professional to clean your dryer vents, or if you can do it yourself.
The answer depends on how well you’ll handle the job. For example, if handling your dirty dryer vent with a vacuum and calling it a day is your version of cleaning it then you may want to think twice. If you do a simple cleaning like that, you could inadvertently compact all that lint which will block it and eventually lead to a fire in your home.
Which is why we recommend having a professional perform dryer vent cleaning for you. Professionals have specialized tools and equipment that can get deep into your vents to remove all of the lint and debris. They also have the experience and knowledge to spot potential problems and address them before they turn into bigger issues.
What Happens During a Dryer Vent Cleaning?
During a dryer vent cleaning, a professional will use specialized tools to remove all of the lint and debris from your dryer vents. They will also inspect your vents for any damage or potential issues, such as a bird’s nest blocking the vent. After the cleaning is complete, they will test your dryer to make sure it’s running smoothly and efficiently.
Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs a Cleaning
Now that you know the importance of having your dryer vents cleaned by a professional, let’s discuss some signs that may indicate it’s time to get them cleaned.
One of the most obvious signs is if you notice lint buildup around the area where your dryer vent attaches to the wall. Another sign is if it takes longer than usual for your clothes to dry. This indicates that the vent is blocked and not allowing enough airflow.
You may also notice a musty smell coming from your dryer or laundry room, which could be an indication of mildew growth in the vent ducts. So to recap, you’ll want to look out for:
- Build up of debris around your dryer vent
- Clothes take longer to dry
- The dryer emits a musty or burning smell
If you experience any of these signs, it’s important to get them checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
Is It Time to Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned?
At the end of the day, it’s important to keep your dryer vents clean to prevent fires and keep your dryer running efficiently. While it’s possible to clean your dryer vents yourself, it’s generally recommended that you hire a professional HVAC company to do the job.
Professionals have the specialized tools and equipment to get deep into your vents and remove all of the lint and debris. Plus, they can identify potential problems and address them before they turn into bigger issues. So, if you haven’t had your dryer vents cleaned recently, it’s time to schedule a cleaning with a professional.