Guide to Cleaning a Dryer Duct

Washing machines and dryers.

Cleaning dryer duct components is one of the most important cleaning jobs you can do in your home. Cleaning the duct and its attached elements will protect your home from fire hazards that build-ups from the ducts can cause. Read the following information about when to clean your duct, how to clean it efficiently, and how often you should be cleaning it.

Signs When Cleaning is Necessary

Your dryer will give you a couple of different signs indicating that it’s time to clean the dryer duct such as taking longer to dry clothes and clothes coming out hot.

When your dryer takes longer to dry clothes, the duct is not venting properly and your clothes either take longer to dry than usual or come out of the cycle still a bit damp.

Although your clothes are supposed to come out warm, they shouldn't come out extremely hot. If you notice that they do, you should check and clean the duct.

Step 1 - Locate Outside Vents

Go to the location where the vent exits outside the house. Lift the flaps and clean the old lint out of the opening thoroughly. If the vent does not open easily, then it may be time to replace it with a new one.

Step 2 - Use a Vacuum

Next, you will want to use a vacuum cleaner with a long, narrow, and thin attachment. Remove the lint screen and insert the vacuum as far as possible into the vent to vacuum out any loose lint that may be collecting inside. This process may not be effective on all dryers because of the vents differing styles. It is, however, effective, in removing any lint build-up within the area.

Step 3 - Lift the Panel

Depending on the type of unit you have, you may have to lift the top or a panel in the front of the duct to be sure that all of the lint is properly removed.

    How Often to Clean the Duct

    Cleaning a dryer duct should be done at least once every year. Some people do clean it more often, but once a year should be adequate. Cleaning done annually ensures your home's safety from potential fires and other mechanical issues arising from the lint build-up.