There are lots of home appliances that we find really hard to clean. Take the dryer vent for example; this is one of the most important appliances in the house, especially one filled with children and a lot of clothes to wash.
You would not want your vent to be clogged or worse, spoilt. Yes, dirt is likely to hinder the vent, making it less effective and useful as it were.
- How a Dryer Vent Works and Why It’s Necessary
- Types of Dryer Vent Tubes
- Aluminum Foil Duct
- Semi-Rigid Metal Duct
- Slim Duct or Periscope
- Rigid Metal Duct
- Vinyl Vent:
- How to clean a Vent Dryer
- How to clean dryer vents
- How to clean a dryer vent
- Caring for your Dryer Vent
- Tube Detaches From Dryer
- Punctured Dryer Vent Tube
- Dirty or Clogged Vent Tube
- Vermin in Dryer Tube
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A dryer vent to duct is key to the operation of your clothes dryer. Without it, the dryer cannot dry your clothing, and there’s even a significant risk of fire.
In order to prevent mayhem of any kind, it is important that we clean and take proper care of the vent, not just for the effective working of your clothes dryer, but for your house.
Installing a dryer vent properly, keeping it clean and troubleshooting minor problems are simple, inexpensive, and essential ways to help your dryer function properly.
How a Dryer Vent Works and Why It’s Necessary
Dryer vents like FUNMAS 3-in-1 Indoor Dryer Vent function by turning wet clothes through heated air in a rotating drum. The hot air evaporates the moisture, picks it up, and pushes it out of the dryer with a fan.
The vent carries this moist air from the dryer to the home’s exterior, amongst other functions. The dryer features a 4-inch diameter vent that removes the water-laden air.
The dryer is effective because it enhances the quick and efficient drying process, so you don’t have to waste time drying on a line. Technology has given you the ability to grow above the stage of certain primitive practices.
With most dryers, you cannot blow this air into your house interior. The air is moved from the dryer to the exterior with a flexible, half-rigid, or rigid tube. One end of this tube attaches to the dryer, and the other end attaches to a hole cut in the side of the house.
Types of Dryer Vent Tubes
There are different types of Dryer vents. Below are major types of dryer vents;
Aluminum Foil Duct
This is one of the most used vents. It is almost cheap and easy to find. This vent is foil accordion-style ducts, and they are the most common of all dryer vents.
This type of dryer vent is coiled with metal wire. The metal wire gives these ducts their cylindrical shape.
This vent is inflammable principally because they are made of metal. The aluminum foil duct is classified as a transition duct and cannot be used with wall assemblies. An example of the aluminum foil duct is Hon & Guan 6 Inch Flexible Clothes Dryer Transition Duct.
Semi-Rigid Metal Duct
Almost similar to the aluminum foil duct, this vented dryer features an accordion-style flexible metal tube. The semi-rigid metal duct is also a transition vent. This means that it must be used outside wall assemblies.
The difference between the aluminum and the semi-rigid is that the metal used in making the semi-rigid duct is, as the name implies, semi-rigid and less prone to crushing.
Since the inside of the duct is smooth, it is prone to housing lint and debris. An example of the Semi-Rigid metal duct is Eastman 69028 ArmorFlex Dryer Vent.
Slim Duct or Periscope
This is another type of dryer vent. Unlike the above types that are flexible and semi-rigid respectively, the slim duct or periscope is constructed of rigid metal. It allows one to push the dryer back close to the wall.
This is one of the most effective dryer vents and also one of the most expensive ones. Like the other vents, the periscope is a transition vent and must be kept out of the wall assembly.
An example of this type of vent is Whirlpool 4396011RP 18-to-29-Inch Vent Periscope.
Rigid Metal Duct
The rigid metal duct is the only dryer that can be installed within a wall. This type of dryer vent has a smooth interior that encourages the flow of air and lint.
It is not a transition vent like the others and is effective and efficient when properly installed. An example of this type of vent is Builders Best 010889 Galvanized Dryer Vent Hood.
This was one of the most used vents because of its ease in installation and its effective and efficient drying system. However, because of the fire hazards, it is no longer recommended.
Also, the vinyl vent is selective. Some codes do not allow these vents. Unlike other vents made of metal or aluminum, the vinyl vent is made entirely of plastic. An example of vinyl vents is Deflecto Flexible Vinyl Duct, White, 4” x 50’.
How to clean a Vent Dryer
It is important the vent dryer is constantly cleaned so as to avoid it from breaking down.
Although we wipe the thick layer of lint from the filter now and then, there’s so much more to do to ensure the vent’s effective and working smoothly.
There are different techniques that can be employed in the workings of your vent.
Tim Smith of Chimney Sweeps of America recommended certain factors to properly clean your dryer.
These tips will not only maintain your dryer’s efficiency but also prevent the appliance from breaking down.
Here are the professional tips for maintaining your dryer filters, drums and most importantly, the vents.
How to clean dryer vents
- How often
The dryer exhaust vents should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year depending on the size of the household and dryer usage.
Cleaning your dryer vent is dependent on how often the dryer is used. The usage time of the vent would dictate the amount of lint and debris that flows within the vent.
This means in essence, the more you use it, the more often you should clean it.
There are a lot of reasons we clean the vent. The foremost reason is that the dryer vents accumulate highly flammable lint, and failure to clean out lint is the leading cause of dryer fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency in the U.S., more than 15,000 dryer fires occurred in the U.S. in 2010. This owes to the accumulation of lint.
Another reason for cleaning the vent is to ensure that they work effectively and efficiently.
Plus, a dryer vent that is plugged in can also burn out the heating elements. Bottom line, to reduce dryer fires and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your dryer, clean the vent regularly.
One of the signs that your vent needs to be clean is if the clothes take longer to dry. There is a specific time clothes take to dry, and when the drying time increases, the efficiency has reduced. This means the dryer vents need to be cleaned.
How to clean a dryer vent
There are no specific ways the vent is cleaned. But it is important that you note how delicate the vent is and to clean with caution. Below are some ways you can clean your vent.
- The first thing is to visually inspect the outside vent opening and removing obstructions. Most times, the obstructions are dust and animal nests; vents at the lower level are perfect for rodents’ nests, while vents at the upper level are more attractive to birds.
- After removing the blocks, the next is to attack the lint. There are several options for removing lint buildup. Some of these ways are:
- A flexible brush with an extendable wand; this will grab the lint for easy removal.
- An air compressor will effectively blow it out.
- Another appliance that can be used to tackle the lint is a combination vacuum cleaner and brush. This will suck the lint out.
Caring for your Dryer Vent
The dryer vent should be kept clean and airtight at all times. This will assist in the overall operation of the dryer.
There are however certain problems that we encounter during the operation and the cleaning of the vent. Some of these problems include:
Tube Detaches From Dryer
Dryer duct tubes often fall off of the dryer or the wall attachment points. You’ll know the source of the problem as soon as you walk into the laundry room: the air will be hot, moist, and will smell like laundry detergent.
Remove the tube and clean it out; sometimes, the weight of lint combined with air pressure causes the tubes to disconnect. Reattach with new spring or plastic clips.
Punctured Dryer Vent Tube
The foil on aluminum foil ducts is very thin and is subject to puncturing. For small repairs, purchase aluminum foil tape to patch the hole. Do not use any other tape for this repair.
If the tube has several punctures or large holes, purchase an entirely new duct tube. Duct tubes are inexpensive.
Dirty or Clogged Vent Tube
Lint and other debris in dryer duct tubes are hazardous. Most likely, your dryer is missing its lint filter. Or, if you have a filter, the filter fabric might be imperceptibly torn away. Purchase the correct lint filter. Do not repair.
Vermin in Dryer Tube
Rodents and other vermin can enter the home from the outside via the dryer duct tubes. Therefore, you must examine the plastic or metal grille covering the louvered vent exit at the exterior of your home.
Make doubly sure the grille is firmly attached. If not, detach the grilled or buy a new one and attach that one. The vent should not be an entry point to vermin that can damage things in the house and even the dryer itself.
The vent is an important part of the dryer, and as such, it must be thoroughly cleaned. This is not only to avoid spoilage, but also to avoid fire outbreaks. It is important to clean the vent as frequently as the dry is used to prevent lint and debris from accumulating in the vent.
Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API