Dryer Vent Cleaning
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Dryer Vent Cleaning
Most laundry rooms have either a gas or electric dryer with a vent or duct leading to the exterior of the home. The heated air inside the dryer barrel evaporates the moisture in the wet clothing and the action of the fan carries it up and out of the laundry room. One problem with this process is that oftentimes the damp air carries with it tiny fragments of the fabric being dried- we call it “lint.”
How Do I Know if my Dryer Vent is Clogged?
There are also signs that you indicate your dryer vent needs to be cleaned. If your clothes are not getting dry, or are taking a longer time than usual, it’s very likely that it’s caused by a clogged dryer vent. The buildup of dust and lint may be preventing the dryer from ventilating efficiently. You may also notice that there is a lot of humidity in the laundry room. This is due to a backup of warm humid air from inside the dryer- it can’t get outside so it leaks back into
Additionally, you may notice that the dryer itself is unusually hot. Other signs that indicate that a dryer vent cleaning is necessary to include the following:
The dryer cycle takes a lot longer.
The clothing has a musty smell when it comes out of the dryer.
Your utility bills are a bit higher than usual.
The dryer sheets smell odd.
The dryer sheets break down easily.
What Causes Dryer Vents to Clog?
A small amount of lint builds up in the dryer vent every time that you use your dryer. Of course, cleaning the accessible lint trap helps tremendously and you should do this with almost every load. While the lint trap keeps most of the fuzz from building up in the ductwork, it doesn’t catch it all.
The farther away your dryer is from the exterior vent, the more likely it is to become choked with lint. Also- if the ducting has more than one or two acute angles on its way through the space, the air slows down and drops its load of particles. There is usually a sharp turn as the duct exits the back of the dryer, but sometimes it also has to negotiate around other obstacles like plumbing, floor joists and doorways.
Once a thin layer of lint forms inside a sheet metal duct, friction acting on the moving air makes it easier for more particles to collect and over time a significant amount of lint will accumulate.
The flexible tubing we see in many homes is even more prone to clogging as it creates small vortices along the interior wire ridges where more lint collects. While they are great for venting air around corners, if you don’t clean them regularly, they will clog more than a smooth sheet metal or PVC duct.
What’s the Cost of Cleaning A Dryer Vent?
The national average is around $129. The cost typically ranges from $95 to $163. The low end is around $69, and the high end is $275. Costs are dependent on the condition of the ductwork, the length of the run, the severity of the lint buildup, the number and severity of the turns in the run, and how difficult it is to access. HVAC professionals arrive equipped with specialized brushes and tools for scrubbing out blockages, and they don’t mind the dusty, unpleasant task of getting rid of the grey clumps that will come out!
Thompson and Thompson home services will always perform an inspection and then give you an estimate before doing anything.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Dryer Vent?
There are several factors that will determine how often you need to get your dryer vent cleaned. One of those factors is how often you wash clothes. If you only do a couple of loads per week, then you will probably only have to get your dryer vent cleaned once a year.
However, if you are doing a load or two every day, then you should get your dryer vent cleaned once every six months. The type of laundry that you are doing can also affect how often you need to have your dryer vent cleaned. If you frequently wash towels, blankets and fleece clothing, then you will need to have your dryer vent cleaned more often.
Furthermore, if you have pets and children, then you will need dryer vent cleanings more frequently. Dogs and cats do shed a good deal of fur, which often ends up in your dryer venting. Washing kids’ clothes more often, especially if you use cotton diapers, can accelerate the buildup of lint as well.
If it’s been a while since you cleaned your dryer vent, (or maybe you never have), contact Thompson and Thompson for a free visit. We’ll inspect your dryer vent and make a recommendation. We look forward to earning your business!