One of the most often missed homeowner’s maintenance tasks is one that is also a potential safety hazard. Cleaning out dryer vent ducts is one of the most overlooked jobs most homeowners miss. If left unchecked, enough lint can build up in the vent ducts of a dryer where the lint could catch fire from the heat of the dryer. Most people who have this problem first mistakenly suspect the dryer itself. If you have this problem, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the drying times for your clothes will get longer and longer. Some of the lint is not caught by the grid catcher and goes into the duct. Over time, depending on how much you use your dryer, it will then get to the point where enough lint will clog the vent and the clothes won’t dry at all. The water vapor will not get a chance to escape through the vent to the outside, causing the clothes to get hot, but still damp. This also causes premature failure of the dryer heating element, motor, or bearings. If your dryer has an automatic sensor it won’t go off and your dryer may be noisier than normal Dryer vent cleaning.
If you do the job yourself, you will need a snake as long as the dryer vent with a brush attached to the end. Clean out your grid catcher internal exhaust of your dryer first. Then turn on the dryer cycle to push through air through the vent. Then go to where the opening of the outside vent is located and gently push the snake through the vent, swishing back and forth, until you’ve reached the end of the duct to the dryer. Then gently pull out the snake, sliding the snake back and forth on the way out. You may need to repeat this process a couple times to get all the lint out of the vent duct.