If you fail to clean your dryer machine for too long, lint will build up in your dryer duct. This buildup may cause inefficiency, reduce performance, and even shorten the lifespan of your machine. Ideally, you need to perform a dryer duct cleaning once every year.
Also, it might be necessary to clean your dryer duct as soon as possible if you encounter problems such as:
- Clothes taking a longer time to dry
- Clothes failing to completely dry as expected
- Clothes are hotter than usual after drying
- The outer surface of the dryer machine gets too hot
- You notice a burning smell in the laundry room, especially when your dryer machine is running
- Your laundry room gets too humid
To make sure your duct is cleaned properly, you can enlist professional help for the job. However, dryer duct cleaning is not very difficult to do yourself.
Before you decide to DIY, make sure you have a special dryer duct brush with an automated drill. Without this kit, cleaning your dryer duct by yourself will not be effective. If you can’t find the brush kit, you can opt for a scrub brush with a long and flexible handle. It will require more effort to clean with, but it is the only possible alternative.
Another thing that you will need is a vacuum cleaner with a long and narrow hose. You might also need a screwdriver if your ductwork connections are screwed in.
Now that you have your equipment ready, here is how to perform the dryer duct cleaning:
- Unplug the cord and turn off the gas valve (if you have a gas dryer).
- Disconnect all the duct joints. If you can’t seem to access the dryer vent, you might need professional help.
- Carefully remove the lint trap filter.
- Vacuum the lint trap housing with the long and thin hose of your vacuum cleaner.
- Use a special dryer duct brush to gently brush the lint trap housing after vacuuming. Use the drill on its lowest speed. Move the brush back and forth for more effective cleaning.
- Move on to the ductwork and perform the same method of cleaning at both ends of the ducts.
- If there is a wad of lint stuck in the middle of the duct that you can’t brush out or vacuum, try using a wire to fish it out. Be careful not to poke the duct wall with the wire, as this might cause leakage.
- Reattach all of your ducts properly. Screw them back in, if necessary. If you need to seal some connections, use UL-listed metal foil duct tape. Regular plastic tape will fail after a while.
- Put the lint trap filter in its place.
- Plug the cord back and turn on the gas valve.
- Run the dryer to see if everything runs properly.
It is highly advisable to not perform your dryer duct cleaning by yourself unless you are sure you have the skills for it. Improper execution might end up ruining your duct without even cleaning it. If you decide to use professional help, make sure to choose someone with a good reputation and a proper license.