The Steps to Clean Dryer Vents

A close-up of a vacuum cleaner nozzle sucking dust and lint off a ventilation cover.

We all love the convenience of owning a dryer at home, especially if we have a smaller household where it’s impractical to hang clothing outside. Needless to say, we take these appliances for granted because they provide fast results without us having to wait. The thought that they require maintenance may seem like a nuisance to some people, although it’s very minimal. Clearing lint from the lint trap is, in fact, too easy, but depending on where it’s located, some people do forget about it in Tulsa.

Dryer vent cleaning in Tulsa is a necessary procedure that not only keeps your machine performing to the highest standards but prevents a dangerous dryer fire as well. Owning devices that could potentially cause fires is certainly not on our wish list. If you know yourself well and cleaning maintenance is not regularly found on your to-do list, there are options.

Your locally owned Tulsa handyman at Mr. Handyman of Greater Tulsa is happy to explain to you the necessary maintenance tasks that we could easily take over for you. The easiest way is to agree on annual reminders for you to schedule routine maintenance services. You can rest assured of receiving professional handyman services with guaranteed workmanship and customer care. All of Mr. Handyman of Greater Tulsa's technicians bring an average experience of 10 years and are fully insured. Our top priority is your safety, along with creating an enhanced living environment for you and your family.

Are There Different Types of Dryers and Ducts?

There are certainly different types of dryers, although the conventional electric one might still be the most common and popular in households. If dryer vent cleaning in Tulsa is too much of a burden, there are always alternatives, but they also come with some caveats. Learn about the options available and their pros and cons.

Condenser (ventless)

The idea of ventless is for the machine to recirculate hot, humid air through a system that cools it. This way, it controls any heat buildup that would otherwise pose a risk of fire. It may be unusual for some homeowners who are used to removing lint from the trap, but there won’t be any need for that anymore. This is the best and safest option for smaller homes that have difficulties installing additional vents. Unlike traditional machines, ventless requires no exhaust, except that it collects moisture in a chamber that you will need to empty. One downside is that ventless takes a longer period of time to dry because it relies on pulling in cool air and heating it up. But the slightly cooler temperature is easier on your clothing if your fabrics are of sensitive materials.

Heat pump condenser

Similar to the condenser system, it's also ventless. It uses a heat pump to suck out the moisture from your laundry, relying on the heat pump’s refrigerant system that has cold and hot coils. Using up to 50 percent less energy than your conventional machine can help reduce the utility bill. It’s also the most expensive of all unless you already have a heat pump system in place.

Gas Dryer

Using gas to produce heat, it's designed to be more energy-efficient by saving you time and money. It takes only half as long as your conventional machine and uses less electricity. However, it's expensive to buy and install because you need to hook it up with a gas line and, of course, a ventilation system. But it could save you money in the long run. That said, it's important to note that when the machine is running, it produces carbon monoxide, which means that combustible gas has to be securely vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Dryer Ducts

You will find different types of ducts on the market, but there is always one that specialists highly recommend. It’s always a good idea to check your existing duct or have your local handyman from Mr. Handyman of Greater Tulsa inspect it to make sure it’s in working order. Different duct types include:

  • Foil
  • Plastic
  • Vinyl
  • Metal

We highly recommend metal-based ducts because they're more rigid and won't spread fire as fast as foil, plastic, or vinyl. But remember that it's still dangerous because fire can smolder, and lint is highly combustible. Fire would normally start in the heating element and exhaust duct. At the end of the day, keeping the ducts clear of clogs and debris is the best that we can do.

Signs You Need Dryer Vent Cleaning in Tulsa

The last thing we want is a malfunctioning appliance putting a dent in our daily lives, but that's when we realize how dear they are to us and that we should've perhaps maintained them better. Dirty dryer vents are not only a nuisance; they are a safety hazard. That said, it might not be too late to quickly react to these important signs:

  • Clothes don’t dry at the end of the cycle
  • Clothes are too hot after drying
  • Dryer is overheating
  • Poor airflow
  • The ventilation hose is clogged or damaged
  • Burning smell when your dryer is on
  • Humid air when the machine is on (air is not being vented out)
  • Lint filter filling up more easily

How Frequent Are Dryer Vent Fires?

Lint—a highly combustible substance—can easily cause fires. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 15,000 house fires are solely caused by clogged dryer vents every year. Severe property damage and deaths are not uncommon during this kind of accident. Not only lint, but a bad heating element could lead to faulty temperature sensors and also start a fire when it becomes too hot. This means that it's safest to frequently inspect your machine in case it has malfunctioning parts that make it run less optimally.

When Should I Book Tulsa Dryer Vent Cleaning?

Tulsa homeowners who remember to book their routine air duct cleaning services are often in luck because specialists know very well that dryer ducts are part of the home’s vent system and should never be left out. Duct cleaning is a common procedure after a long, hot summer, especially for those who suffer from allergies and want the vents to be clean before they turn on the furnace for the winter.

Alternatively, if you specifically want Tulsa dryer vent cleaning but are unsure how to detach the hose or have a health condition where you can't be exposed to an excess of dust, your local handyman, Mr. Handyman of Greater Tulsa, will get it done for you in no time. Alternatively, you can read on and learn some DIY tips.

Tulsa Dryer Vent Cleaning For DIY Pros

This task shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes to complete as long as you know the exact steps that you need to take. First, we recommend that you protect yourself with these safety measures:

  • Safety glasses
  • Mouth mask
  • 100 percent rubber gloves
  • Wear dark clothing that you plan to wash right away

Then, gather these tools and materials:

  • Vacuum with a hose attachment
  • Duct tape
  • Power drill
  • Pliers
  • Dryer vent cleaner kit: This is practical to have because it comes with a flexible soft tube, adaptor, and lint brush

It’s Time For Your Tulsa Dryer Vent to be Cleaned!

For the best and safest results, follow these DIY steps:

  1. Unplug dryer

The first step is to move your dryer slightly forward so that you can access the back. Next, unplug it and dust off any debris that has accumulated in the back.

  1. Disconnect duct

Inspect the dryer duct and carefully disconnect it from the unit by loosening the hose clamp. Also, loosen the clamp that connects the hose to the vent.

Note: If you have a gas-operated unit, turn off the gas supply valve.

  1. Vacuum vent and exhaust duct

Use your vacuum cleaner to suction around the vent and the opening. Then, attach the soft tube from your cleaning kit to your vacuum cleaner and give the duct a deep clean by poking inside.

  1. Power drill + brush

Your kit should have a professional Tulsa dryer vent cleaning brush that you can attach to your power drill. This allows you to insert the brush deep inside the vent and do its job. Dust and other stubborn debris will start spilling out.

  1. Sweep!

That’s the job almost done. Before moving on outside, we recommend immediately cleaning up the mess before any dust bunnies get blown into areas they shouldn’t be.

  1. Inspect the exterior vent

Check for rust, loose parts, or whether it may need some oiling.

  1. Clean the vent

Since you have done the biggest job from the inside, you may only need a thin wire brush to remove any clogging lint on the outside. But if it looks severely clogged, it’s best to remove the vent cover altogether and use the power drill and brush again to clean it properly.

  1. Give the vent cover a scrub

It’s likely covered in dust and dirt. You can use some dish soap and warm water to clean it. Let it dry before reattaching it to the siding.

Frequently Asked Questions – Tulsa Dryer Vent Cleaning

As an often-overlooked cleaning task, we want to raise more awareness so that every Tulsa household remains safe. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that we have received from customers. If you don't see your question listed, feel free to reach out to us!

Is Tulsa Dryer Vent Cleaning and Air Duct Cleaning The Same?

No. Your ducts are part of your HVAC system that’s connected to your furnace. However, like your dryer vent, they do collect dust and debris over time. In the worst-case scenario, they can attract pests and rodents or grow moldy if there’s moisture trapped inside. Professional duct cleaning services will ensure they remain clean and dry. The good news is that these services are a good reminder for Tulsa dryer vent cleaning services.

How Do I Best Prevent Dryer Lint Fire?

Always remember to clean the lint trap after each cycle, and if you can, clean the duct and vent quarterly to annually by setting reminders, or you can ask your Tulsa handyman to remind you. We also recommend that you are home to monitor your machine when it's in operation. Don't leave it unattended, and always keep a fire extinguisher nearby, according to the code. Your expert Tulsa handyman is happy to inspect your vent and help you determine whether your machine is placed in a safe location.

How Much Does A Cleaning Service Cost?

It’s hard to say without inspecting the unit first to give you a thorough idea of how it’s performing. While it’s normally a task that takes less than an hour to complete, we usually recommend combining it with air duct cleaning.

Can I Use A Leaf Blower to Clean It?

There are certainly people who do that, but we do not recommend it if you haven't done it before. These gas-operated devices hold a lot of power, and things could easily go sideways and cause more of a mess than you'd want. Using your vacuum cleaner, power drill, and brush is somewhat more time-consuming but also the safest way.

Need Tulsa Dryer Vent Cleaning? Book a Service Technician with Mr. Handyman!

We'll help you clean your dryer vent and air ducts in no time! The professional and versatile team at Mr. Handyman of Greater Tulsa is skillfully trained in air duct and Tulsa dryer vent cleaning and can help you optimize your unit by inspecting it and replacing duct hoses if necessary. In fact, our team of experts has helped numerous homeowners stay safe with reliable home maintenance services like dryer vent cleaning, drywall repair, and carpentry services throughout Tulsa and in surrounding areas like Jenks, Bixby, and Broken Arrow.

To book an appointment or learn more about our other Tulsa handyman services, give us a call.