Cleaning Dryer Vents: Inside or Outside?

Cleaning the air vent from the inside allows you to get rid of all the lint and dirt, but first you'll have to disconnect the dryer from the vent, which can be uncomfortable. If you clean it from the outside, you won't have to disconnect it, which is easier, but you won't get rid of all the dirt inside. Before you go back inside, use a microfiber cloth and warm water and soap to clean the outer vent cover. In addition, sweep or vacuum up any loose debris that has come out of the dryer's ventilation grille.

When you finish going out, you will also need to sweep or vacuum any hair, lint, and other debris that has fallen through the ventilation grille of the dryer inside. Using a hose attachment, turn on the vacuum and vacuum all over the vent inlet. Put it inside the dryer's exhaust duct and vacuum as much as you can. The dryer vent cover must be cleaned to ensure that no excess debris accumulates inside the dryer, as this can create an obstruction and increase the risk of fire.

Brushes for cleaning dryer vents can be used to remove dust, dirt, hair, lint, or any other remaining residue. Repeat the process to reconnect the vent hose to the outside vent pipe and then return the dryer to its position against the wall. To reconnect the dryer vent hose, simply loosen the existing brackets to allow the vent hose to slide over the vent pipe, and then tighten the brackets, making sure they are tight enough to prevent the vent hose from sliding or moving. Keep in mind that flexible ventilation grilles made of plastic, aluminum foil, or vinyl tend to accumulate microfiber residue faster than straight dryer ducts and can increase the risk of fire. As an expert in home maintenance and safety, I recommend cleaning your dryer vents at least once a year.

While this may seem like a daunting task at first glance, it is actually quite simple if you follow a few basic steps. The usual advice is to take out the vent brush about once every 12 months to make sure your dryer vent is in perfect condition. If you have pets that shed a shed or a large family that requires your electric or gas dryer to be in constant use, you should count on additional cleanings throughout the year. To begin with, unplug your dryer and close any gas supply valves if applicable. Then slide your dryer out about a foot or two from the wall so that you can access its interior ventilation end.

Using a hose attachment with your vacuum cleaner, turn on your vacuum and vacuum all over your vent inlet. Put it inside your dryer's exhaust duct and vacuum as much as you can. If applicable, place a brush in a drill and use its rotation to clean your interior ventilation grill. In addition to cleaning your outdoor ventilation grille regularly, it is important to maintain a free flow of air into and out of your ventilation grill. Most installed dryer ventilation systems that meet building code standards have an exhaust hole in an exterior wall or roof line.

Ideally, a lint trap should trap all debris before venting air outside but in most cases some microfiber waste passes through your grille into your dryer's vent. To reduce this amount of debris passing through your grille make sure to clean it after each use. To finish up with your cleaning process reconnect your vent hose to its outside vent pipe and then return your dryer back into its position against the wall. Make sure that all brackets are tight enough so that your vent hose does not slide or move around. Cleaning your dryer vents is essential for both safety and efficiency reasons as well as for preventing structural moisture problems. Keeping them clean will help reduce fire risks as well as improve air flow which will help reduce drying times for clothes and linens.

So make sure to keep up with regular maintenance for optimal performance.

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