Everything Fairfield County CT Homeowners Must Know About Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dryer vent
Hiring dryer vent cleaning services for your home in Fairfield County, Connecticut, may not be at the top of your to-do list. Indeed, it might not even be on your to-do list at all!

Many homeowners take their appliances for granted, including dryers. Trust us, we get it! When your appliances are working properly, it’s easy to forget that like all machinery they require regular maintenance to work their best.

Vacuuming your dryer vents can be a bit of a hassle. However, it’s a very important task that not only helps your dryer work better and for longer but also plays a key role in keeping your home and family safe.

Continue reading to discover the benefits of hiring dryer vent cleaning services and the warning signs it’s time to vacuum out your dryer vents. Additionally, we’ll walk the DIY inclined through cleaning out your dryer vents on your own, and note how the pros at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County can help with this task.

5 Reasons You Should Hire Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

Cleaning out your dryer vents is an often overlooked part of maintaining your Fairfield, CT, home. If the clothes are getting dry, there’s really not much to think about—right? Not necessarily.

Dryer vents work by expelling hot, moist air through a metal tube. The air that is blown into the appliance to dry your clothes can’t be let out in your home, so it moves through the vent and is released outside. Often, lint is also trapped in the dryer vent and can accumulate over time. Lint is highly flammable. In fact, dryer vents that are filled with lint and other debris account for more than 15,000 home fires per year in the United States.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to regularly clean your dryer vents. Annual inspections are the safest way to ensure your vents are clear of dangerous debris. Yearly maintenance also ensures your dryer works efficiently.

Read on to learn the top 5 reasons why it’s important to hire dryer vent cleaning services from professionals like Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County.

1. Safety First

As we mentioned above, clogged dryer vents are responsible for around 15,000 house fires every year in the United States. Dryers run hot, and lint is highly flammable. This creates the perfect storm to spark a fire in your Fairfield, CT, home.

Lint is a natural part of the drying process. Typically, lint builds up in the lint trap. But it’s also found inside the dryer vent and in your ductwork. Not only does lint build-up reduce airflow and drying efficiency, but it’s also a fire hazard.

After each load of clothes you dry, it’s integral you clean out the lint trap. Simply remove all lint from the screen and wipe the edges. Should you notice the screen is congested or not collecting lint effectively, it’s likely coated in residue from your dryer sheets. A quick clean with hot water and a soft-bristled brush should remove all the residue. Be sure to let your lint screen dry completely before putting it back. Do not run your dryer without the lint trap.

Clogged dryer vents are not only a fire hazard but could also cause gasses like carbon monoxide to infiltrate into your home—since the gas can’t be properly released outside. Carbon monoxide is very dangerous for you and your family.

2. Prevent Low Efficiency

Efficiently working appliances are important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a dryer that is working properly will do its job: to dry your clothes in roughly 35 to 40 minutes. If the dryer vent is clogged with lint, the proper amount of hot air is not reaching the dryer. Subsequently, you may need to run the dryer for longer just to get your clothes dry. Or, your clothes might need multiple cycles before drying fully.

Secondly, inefficiency increases the energy used to dry your clothes. The more energy used, the more you will spend on your electrical bill. Indeed, if you’ve noticed a spike in your electrical bill it could be that the dryer vent is clogged. Hiring dryer vent cleaning services from Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County will ensure your appliance works efficiently and reduce your energy bill.

3. Prevent Bacteria Growth

As we’ve established, dryer vents release hot, moist air outside. When the vent is clogged with lint and other debris, this damp air can condensate into pools of water within the vent. When the water mixes with lint, it creates a paste-like material that coats the vent walls. Not only does this paste clog the vent further, but it also creates the perfect condition for bacteria to grow.

Bacteria growth in your dryer vent is quite serious. The bacteria spores can be released into the air and cause respiratory issues for your family, such as asthma or allergic reactions.

4. Reduce Maintenance

Annual dryer vent cleaning will actually reduce the need for further maintenance down the road. Much like how taking your car in for regular tune-ups and oil changes reduces the risk of breakdowns or more costly repairs, so does care for your appliances.

A dryer that has a clogged vent and is used continuously can cause issues inside the appliance. This is because the clogged vent does not enable hot, humid air to be expelled correctly and forces the machine to work harder than it was designed for. Repairing or replacing a dryer is a preventable headache by hiring yearly dryer vent cleaning services.

5. Increase Longevity

Not only does a clean dryer vent reduce the need for repairs down the line, but it also increases the life of your dryer. As any Fairfield County homeowner who’s had to buy a new dryer knows, replacing this appliance can be an unforeseen expense. With proper care and regular cleanings, you can make the most of your dryer’s lifespan.

As noted earlier, clogged dryer vents decrease the appliance’s efficiency. In turn, the dryer will have to run longer than usual or cycle multiple times per load. Naturally, this will cause significant wear and tear and decrease the life of your dryer because it’s being forced to work harder to dry your clothes. Allowing your dryer to continue running in this way could cause it to quit completely.

5 Warning Signs That You Should Hire Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

Unsure if you need to schedule a dryer vent cleaning service for your Fairfield County home? There are 5 clear signs that it’s time to get your vents cleaned and your dryer inspected. Continue reading to learn what those signs are.

1. It’s Been More Than a Year Since Your Last Inspection

Firstly, if it’s been more than a year since your last inspection and dryer vent cleaning—or you can’t remember the last time you had any clogged lint cleared away—then you should book a service as soon as possible. Although it can be easy to overlook (or even forget about) clearing out your dryer vents, it’s an integral step to ensure your dryer functions correctly and reduces the risk of a fire.

2. Clothes Take Longer to Dry

Are you finding that one drying cycle just doesn’t cut it? If your clothes are still damp after being in your dryer for 35 to 40 minutes (depending on how large the load is) then it’s likely your dryer is not functioning efficiently. A clogged vent could be impeding the machine’s airflow and limiting how much heat is being expelled to dry your clothes.

3. Your Clothing and the Outside of the Dryer are Very Hot

When you touch your dryer during its cycle, it should not feel hot. If it does, this is a clear sign that the vent is not exhausting properly. A clogged dryer vent will cause the heating element and blower in the dryer to work harder and wear out more quickly.

4. You Smell Something Burning

A burning smell is a sign that lint has caught fire somewhere in your dryer, such as in the exhaust tube, lint trap, or even in the drum casing. Since lint is very flammable, the heat from the dryer can cause it to catch on fire. If you notice a burning smell, turn your dryer off immediately.

If the smell persists, call your local fire department at 911 right away. Once the fire has been dealt with, schedule a dryer vent cleaning with a professional service such as Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County.

5. The Vent Hood Flap Doesn’t Open Correctly

Take a look at your dryer’s vent opening. It should be located somewhere along the exterior of your home. If you can see lint or debris around the vent opening or the duct hood flap does not open correctly, then you need to hire dryer cleaning services right away. An outside vent that doesn’t open when the dryer is running means the airflow has been restricted due to lint buildup. You could risk starting a house fire.

How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Cleaning a dryer vent should ideally be performed by a professional handyman service. However, if you have lots of DIY experience and are comfortable with handling home appliances, you can follow the guide below:

  1. Locate both the dryer vent at the back of your dryer and the dryer exhaust on the exterior of your home.
  2. Unplug the dryer, or turn off the supply valve for gas dryers.
  3. Pull the dryer away from the wall so you can fit behind it.
  4. Disconnect the dryer duct from the back of the dryer. You can use a phillips head screwdriver to disconnect the vent clamp.
  5. Put on safety gloves.
  6. Remove lint with your hands from the hole at the back of the dryer.
  7. Use the hose attachment on your vacuum or shop vac to clean any remaining lint from the back of the dryer.
  8. Likewise, use your hands to clean large chunks of lint from the dryer vent. Follow up with vacuuming the vent.
  9. Go outside and remove the exterior dryer vent cover.
  10. Use the vacuum to clean the dryer exhaust vent.
  11. After cleaning, inspect the ducts to ensure they are not damaged.
  12. Reattach ductwork and exterior vent cover.
  13. Push the dryer back into its original position.
  14. Plug the appliance in, or turn the gas valve back on.
  15. Test the dryer by running it for 15 minutes on the “air dry” setting. This will check the vent connections and get rid of any remaining debris.
  16. If after you manually clean your dryer it’s still not running properly, hire the team at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County to professionally clean it for you.

Book a Dryer Vent Cleaning Service Today!

Are you ready to book a dryer vent cleaning service with the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County? Ensure your dryer works efficiently and reduces the risk of a house fire by scheduling an inspection and cleaning service today.

Our friendly and courteous staff can be reached to you or, you can request a service online. We look forward to hearing from you and helping your dryer run smoothly year after year.