Your dryer’s venting system is the exit point for all of the exhaust from the device. A well-functioning vent system will ensure hot, moisture-free air leaves your laundry room. It also prevents lint from building up inside your wall and attic, avoiding a potential fire hazard.
Failing to clean the vent can cause several problems with your dryer. You may have to deal with energy waste, uneven clothes drying, and possible fire hazards.
In essence, the vent’s smooth operation is crucial to a dryer’s efficiency. With regular vent maintenance and cleaning, it’s possible to use a dryer for more than a decade.
That’s why we’re taking a closer look at dryer vent cleaning, repair and installation. Here’s your comprehensive guide to maintaining your dryer vents.
Dryer vents can sometimes get clogged with dust, lint and debris. When that happens, the warm air from your dryer won’t circulate properly. Consequently, it’ll take longer for your dryer to remove moisture in your clothes.
90% of dryers have lint vents that run behind the machine and connect to the outside. Since these vents are mostly out of sight, it’s easy for lint to accumulate in them.
Lint and hot air in an enclosed space can potentially ignite a fire. Therefore, a potentially dangerous situation can develop if lint build-up collects in the ducts.
It’s not just about ensuring your dryer keeps drying your laundry efficiently. Dryer vent cleaning and repair will protect your property from fire damage.
But how often should you clean your dryer vents? Factors like dust and device usage patterns can affect the answer. But experts recommend cleaning the dryer vents at least twice annually.
Here are a few tips to help in cleaning your dryer vent.
Different kinds of dryers are available in the Canadian market — each with its unique design and instructions. Typically, a dryer will come with a manual and special instructions for its use. Read this manual and follow the manufacturer’s vent cleaning and maintenance recommendations.
The dryer vent, lint screen and lint traps are all parts of your device that require regular cleaning. You should know the differences between these components. This way, you can ensure you’re not confusing dryer vent cleaning with lint screen maintenance.
The first indication is the position. The lint trap and lit screen are typically at the top of your dryer. On the other hand, the vent is likely at the back of the dryer.
It’s necessary to wear safety gloves while cleaning your dryer vents. These gloves will protect your hands from lint which may still be hot or burnt. Without gloves, you also risk injuring your hands on sharp edges.
There are six simple steps to follow in cleaning your dryer vent efficiently.
Unplugging your dryer is the first step to cleaning its vents. The possibility of getting electrocuted while cleaning a working dryer is very real.
Most dryer units have a 4-inch diameter exhaust exiting out its back. Hot air travels along these metal pipes, eventually emerging at a ground-level exit vent. Then, it quickly passes through the vent into the surrounding air.
Remove the screws or other fastening hardware that holds the vent pipe in place. Then, pull the pipe from its exhaust.
Next, disassemble the dryer vent pipe. Disassembling the piece will allow you to remove lint and other obstructions from inside thoroughly.
You can use this opportunity to inspect the vent pipes and ensure they’re still good. Be sure to remove anything that may clog airflow through the vent pipes.
It’s always best to start with the outer walls of the dryer vent before cleaning the insides. Remove all lint and debris on the outer walls. If you discover vent blockage, remove the grille from the dryer and clean it to remove all debris.
Remove heavy lint deposits with a brush or vacuum. A plumber’s snake is another tool that can be useful for tackling heavy lint deposits. Then, vacuum or inspect all the components visually.
Don’t leave out any walls or ceilings in the path of airflow through your home. Lint that builds up in these places also contributes to a fire hazard.
Check the exterior vent of your dryer to see if any new debris appears after cleaning the interior vent hose. Be sure to clean the entire exterior side of your dryer, especially the top and bottom of the sides. Lint can fall around the interior of the drum and form clumps of debris over time.
Re-attach the dryer vent after cleaning it and then turn on the device. Leave it on for a few minutes, and ensure there isn’t debris. If you notice the machine isn’t still working as it should, you can consider calling a professional.
Related Article: Ten Common Dryer Problems
Your dryer works harder than you think and requires routine upkeep and maintenance. Here are other ways to keep your dryer in good condition and reduce lint build-up.
Heavy, oversized loads can cause your dryer drum to bounce. Over time, this can cause your dryer’s bearings to wear out prematurely. Use your dryer’s user manual to determine the maximum weight of clothing you can toss in.
Pets fabrics are typically lint-prone. You’re likely going to get a lot of lint stuck to your vent if you use a dryer while washing them. Instead, hang pet bedding and related fabric outside to dry.
Call a professional if you notice a deterioration in the dryer’s performance. Calling a dryer repair professional immediately you notice an issue will prevent the problem from ballooning into a bigger one.
And remember, bigger repairs come with commensurate bills. Therefore calling a dryer repair tech before the issue worsens can save you money.
Due to the dynamics of economic standards in certain places, dryer vent cleaning costs may be more expensive. The average amount you should expect to pay for professional dryer vent cleaning services is $100 to $220.
Expect to pay about $145 for dryer vent cleaning if it’s on the first floor with a 90-degree turn. On the lower end, you can also pay $90 if the duct isn’t above 15 feet.
On severe occasions, you may end up paying about $550 to inspect and remove a bird nest affecting the vent. You’ll also be shelling out a figure in the same region to clean a double 90-degree turn room dryer vent.
Typically, homeowners spend from $90 to $160 hourly to clean dryer vents. Most contractors cover about 15 duct feet hourly.
The actual cost of cleaning a dryer vent depends on the contractor, vent location, and the extent of cleaning it needs. The longer the vent, the more time it’ll take to clean it. It causes the price to increase accordingly.
Budget within $100 to $500 to settle dryer vent cleaning problems. The amount is unstable because some dryer vent issues are easier to fix than others.
Fixing some of these issues requires more time, effort and materials. For instance, taking wet lint from the dryer costs $100 to $300. In contrast, it costs $150 to $350 to get bird nests off dryers.
On average, installing a dryer vent costs $150 and $250. However, the average homeowner can expect to spend up to $200 for a semi-rigid metal gas dryer vent. The cost includes the materials and labour you’ll need to install the dryer vent.
It’s best to follow recommended installation guidelines every step of the way. These guidelines will enable you to install a dryer vent the correct way, thereby avoiding hazards and extra costs. Another important note is that your HVAC system determines the right type of ducts to install.
You can also refer to a slim dryer duct as a flat dryer vent. As the name implies, slim ducts are rectangular but thin. They’re the best options for tight spaces where traditional ducts may fail. Installing slim dryer duct costs about $185.
The semi-rigidity of the duct is a result of its aluminum material. This duct type is flexible and can bend in different forms. Experts utilize clamps to keep the tubing in place. Installing semi-rigid dryer vents costs around $200.
Rigid ducts are mostly behind walls, ceilings or floors. Due to their inflexibility, you’ll need elbow fittings to secure rigid duct pieces. You may pay up to $300 for a rigid dryer ducts installation project.
The best way to decide whether to repair or replace a dryer vent is to take a closer look at it. A dryer repair professional can tell whether you need new vents with visual inspection. If you know what to look for, it’s a decision you can also make yourself.
It’s not just about visual inspection. Your location and maintenance habit can determine whether you need to change your dryer vents. These factors affect how often to change your vents and repair them.
How often you clean your dryer vents will influence their integrity. With regular maintenance, you can get a few extra years of use from your vents.
A dusty location may have you changing your vents more often than usual. The high concentration of dust and particles will mean the vent does a lot of work. Therefore, you’ll need to change it regularly.
Related Article: What Is the Cost of Fixing a Clothes Dryer in Toronto?
Owning an optimally working dryer depends on whether or not you clean its vents correctly. It’s not a good practice to leave your dryer vents untouched for a long time.
It can leave your dryer with issues that can cause it to malfunction. Furthermore, these defects can shorten the lifespan of your dryer.
That’s why you need the professionals at Prime Appliance Repair to step in and save the day. We offer same-day dryer vent repair and maintenance services to residents across the GTA. Call us today!