How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

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Fire hazards can live around your home if you do not conduct proper maintenance on your bigger machines. Cleaning your dryer ducts not only prevents fires, but dry's your clothes faster.

How To Clean Your Dryer Vent

Ace’s home expert, Lou Manfredini, shares simples tips on how to clean your dryer ducts quickly and efficiently.

Clean Inside and Out

  1. Unplug dryer. If it is a gas dryer, turn off supply valve.
  2. Pull dryer away from wall.
  3. Disconnect duct, this is where lint tends to collect.
  4. Use a shop vac with a cleaning attachment to get deep into the duct.
  5. Using the shop vac, also clean the outside dryer vent.

Check For Damage

  1. Check your duct work for damage

  2. If punch carded, dented, or damaged replace the duct.

Replace Dryer Vent or Duct

  1. Measure the length of the duct you’re replacing from the back of the dryer to the outside. Measure the diameter as well, most ducts are a standard 4", but you will want to make sure to get the right size.
  2. Be sure to get a replacement vent pipe that is the right diameter. Vinyl or foil ducts are easy to install, but they can droop and collect ling on their ridges. Metal ducts offer better fire prevention if lint ignites.
  3. Disconnect the dryers vent hood on the outside. This is usually parallel to your dryer on the exterior of your home.
  4. Use the metal collar from the old vent hood as a guide to cut a new collar.
  5. Reconnect to the vent hood and slid it in place from the outside.
  6. Take new elbow duct and fit snuggly into metal duct and internal dryer vent.
  7. Tighten the clamps or zip ties on the connection points.
  8. For extra safety, use duct tape to immobilize clamps.
*If your dryer vent has many twists and turns, you may want to call in a professional for this replacement.

Prevent Dryer Fires

  • Clear dryer filter after EVERY load.
  • Clean your ducts twice a year.
  • Turn the dryer off when you leave the house.
  • Replace vinyl/foil ducts with metal ducts.
  • Attach a safety alarm. This warns you if there is too much lint build up in your duct
  For more helpful tips and advice, visit Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice.