According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 2,900 house fires a year are caused by dirty dryers. Inspecting your exterior dryer ducts behind your dryer and regularly cleaning dryer filter screens can help prevent unwanted fires.
This is a Safety Task!
If you see lint sticking to walls, floor, or dryer, this usually is a sign of a clogged or leaky exhaust vent. Lint is very volatile and can catch fire very quickly. You also want to make sure no unwanted critters live in your dryer vents, which prevents the vent from performing properly.
This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!
Keeping the filter and the exterior duct clear of lint will prevent unnecessary damage to your dryer. Lint restricts airflow, causing your dryer to work harder. This will cause it to wear out faster. Keeping lint areas clean will prevent additional dust around the home, and other filters, like the furnace filter, etc., from clogging up.
Home Manager classifies this as an Insurance task!
Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, handyman, or cleaning company
Step 1 – Clean dryer filter screen
- After clearing the filter of lint, pour a small amount of water onto the filter screen.
- If the water pools up on the screen instead of flowing through the screen, wash the screen in warm, soapy water using a bristle brush to clear the screen filter’s openings.
- Rinse, retest, and repeat until the water flows straight through.
- Tool List: Bristle Brush
- Supply List & Costs: Soap
Step 2 – Clean exterior dryer vents
- Inspect the outside vent opening and remove any obstructions. (Obstructions could include animal or rodent nests, so be careful doing this step.)
- You can use many different objects to clean out the exterior dryer duct. Either an air compressor, a flexible & extendable brush that grabs the lint, or a multiuse vacuum cleaner includes a brush. The main objective is to remove any sort of obstructions within the vent, especially any lint.
- When you’ve found your preferred way to clean and remove lint, it’s important to do so for the whole length of the vent.
- Lastly, vacuum up any lint behind the dryer. Air is pulled into the dryer from behind it, so any remaining lint back there may cause further build-up in the vent.
- Tool List: (air compressor or extendable brush), vacuum (multiuse)