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Clothes dryer vents blow better when they’re clean, obviously; the less lint that is allowed to build up, the better the vent works. Full-size dryers blow better than smaller, stacked dryers or older dryers. If a vent has a lot of turns and elbows, it will build up more lint and blow worse. Typically, vents need cleaning every two or three years, and cleaning is recommended not just by the companies that perform it, but also by many fire departments and insurance companies.

We’ve covered previously how a dirty vent can be a fire hazard. If a vent is plugged, the dryer will run hotter and increase the chances of a fire breaking out. There are other hazards that can lead to a fire, however, such as the failure of a dryers thermostat and limit switches, a missing or damaged lint screen, lint inside the dryer and a crushed hose behind the dryer.

How its done

For dryers that are used in apartments and condominiums, vents are cleaned from the outside using a high-pressure tool that employs compressed air called a jet-snake. The tool shoots air down a vent like a rocket, blasting lint and other debris loose. That debris is then caught in a special bag so that no lint enters either the dryer or the residence.

For most houses, cleaning is performed by disconnecting the dryer and pulling it away from the wall, installing a large blower on the vent, then blowing, brushing, vacuuming the vent.

Dryer vent mistakes

There are several improper methods of installing dryer vents that can actually lead to the restriction of airflow and the accumulation of even more lint. They include:

  • Using vents that are too long and have too many bends, and don’t include a dryer duct booster. The shorter and straighter a dryer vent, the better.
  • Using flammable foil or plastic foil duct extenders. Most manufacturers specify that metal dryer vents be used. Metal vents resist crushing better than other forms, and thus allow air and lint to be more easily transported out of the system. A crushed vent can reduce airflow, causing overheating. Many states and municipalities require new homes to have all metal dryer venting.
  • Improper clearance between the dryer and the wall. A lot of people will put their dryer directly against a wall and crush the vent. Again, this creates a reduction in airflow and the accompanying lint build-up. This can cause the high temperature limit safety switch that controls the header to continuously cycle on and off, which they are not designed to do on a repetitive basis.

The Approved Comfort Experts are your heating specialists! Call us today for duct cleaning service, furnace repair, and furnace replacement.