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inside a dryer vent

You must periodically clean out the lint and debris from your dryer vent to prevent it from catching fire. Moreover, a clean vent helps your dryer operate more efficiently, thereby lowering your energy bills, preventing costly repairs, and prolonging the lifespan of your appliance. The good news is you don’t have to be an appliance repair professional to clean your dryer vent. Here’s when and how to do it.

When you should clean your dryer vent

You should clean your dryer at least once a year. Some telltale signs your dryer vent needs immediate cleaning include:

  • A burning smell when you operate the dryer

  • The unit is hot to the touch after a cycle

  • Your clothes take more time to dry than usual

  • Your clothes are hot and damp after a cycle

  • The air in your laundry room is humid after a cycle

If you notice any of these signs, clean out your dryer vent immediately.

How to clean your dryer vent

You can simply use a vacuum to clean out your dryer vent. However, if you haven’t cleaned yours in a while, you may need to purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit. These kits come with long brushes that attach to a standard power drill. You insert the rotating brushes into the ductwork to clean inside the tubing. Follow these steps to clean your dryer vent:

  • Disconnect the electricity and shut off the natural gas supply valve (if applicable).

  • Pull the dryer away from the wall about 30 centimetres.

  • Locate the dryer vent behind your dryer and look for the aluminum foil tube that connects your dryer to a hole in the wall.

  • Disconnect the duct from the dryer and the wall. You may need a screwdriver to loosen the clamp. Use a vacuum cleaner with an extension wand to clean the lint in and around the vent hole and dryer duct.

  • Vacuum away the debris as it comes out of the tube.

  • Do the same thing with the ductwork inside your wall.

  • Go outside and locate the dryer exhaust on the exterior wall of your home. Repeat the above steps to clean the duct. Ensure your exhaust opening is clear of snow, garden equipment or plants.

After you’ve finished cleaning, reconnect the duct, open the gas valve and push the dryer back into place. You can prevent lint buildup by cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap before each load.

Home ventilation in Calgary

At Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer a variety of home ventilation services to improve the air quality in your home. We install, repair and maintain dryer vents, hood fans and kitchen and bathroom exhaust systems for residential and commercial customers in Calgary. For a free, no-obligation quote, contact us today.


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