Most of us know the importance of cleaning out the lint filter in our dryers with each load. We know it is important for removing as much lint as possible from our clothes, for maintaining the efficiency of our dryer, and for preventing fire hazards. However, you should also know it is equally important to clean out your dryer vent regularly. Not all lint is trapped by your dryer’s lint filter and will work its way out of the dryer. Here is my rough diagram (yes… I have been paint brushing):
Lint that is not trapped in your lint filter may become a huge fire hazard if it builds up in other places in its path before exiting your home. To prevent this hazard, clean out your dryer vent, duct, and exterior vent regularly by completing the following steps:
1. Turn off the gas or electric supply to your dryer and pull the dryer away from the wall. This may require assistance from a second person. Be careful not to stretch the large silver hose (dryer exhaust duct or hose).
4. Using the appropriate vacuum attachment, vacuum out any remaining lint from the hose, the vent of the dryer itself, and the entire back of the dryer. This step is extremely important as lint build up in the vent and hose is the leading cause of fires in the home. While you are back there, also vacuum underneath the dryer as much as possible.5. Reattach the dryer hose to the dryer vent, return the dryer to its normal position, and reattach the electricity or gas.
6. Walk outside and locate your dryer exhaust vent on the side of your home. It should look something like this:
7. Clear away any plant material growing near the vent. Also, lift the vent covers to clear away any lint or debree which may have built up inside the vent. If you can see build up inside the vent that you cannot reach through the slits, remove the vent cover to complete a thorough cleaning.
Your dryer is now safe, clean, and ready to run!