Have you ever taken a moment to check your dryer vent from outside? It’s a household task that often gets overlooked. But it’s an important one to remember since it can be dangerous to neglect the dry vent for an extended period of time. All of that lint residue that collects from clothing in the vent is extremely flammable, which can create a significant fire risk for homeowners. Even if you consistently empty the lint screen in the dryer machine, it’s imperative to maintain the outdoor vent for safety purposes. Read on to learn how to clean a dryer vent from outside.
How to Tell When Your Dryer Vent is Clogged
First, it’s helpful to know what signs to look out for that will point to a clog in the vent. The vent outside is where moisture and lint gets released during the dry cycle, so they don’t accumulate. But when lint begins to accumulate, the moisture won’t have anywhere to escape, causing the dryer to become less efficient. This usually leaves clothing feeling a bit damp even after spinning in the dryer. Once you notice your dryer struggling to thoroughly dry your clothing, take it as a red flag and check the vent outside. Also, if you notice mould developing in the laundry room, this can be an indication as well.
The Rule of Thumb for Cleaning the Vent
The general rule of thumb is to inspect and clean out the vent quarterly to avoid any hazardous situations and keep the dryer operating as efficiently as possible.
Here’s How to Clean a Dryer Vent from Outside:
Check the Vent Slats
Exterior dryer vents are housed by slats that are designed to open automatically when the dryer is running. When you put on your next load of laundry, go outside to make sure that those slats are opening. If they aren’t, you can manually open them by prying a screwdriver underneath and gently nudging them open.
Inspect the Vent Hinges
If the vent seems to be struggling to open freely, the hinges could be to blame. If there are noticeable signs of rust, use a bit of WD-40 lubricant and apply it to the hinges. If you notice any cracks or damage, these should be addressed and sealed up as well.
Remove the Lint
If you have a long wired brush, gently place it between the slats to remove any lint and dirt. If you don’t have a suitable brush, use anything that can reach and remove the build-up.
Wipe the Vent Cover
Since the vent cover is exposed to the weather elements, it can get pretty dirty. So while you’re out there, use a damp cloth with a drop or two of dish soap and wipe the cover. This will also help to minimize rust from forming along the hinges, keeping the slats functioning as they should.
Leave it to a Professional
Instead of enduring the hassle of cleaning the vent, call in a professional to perform a dryer vent cleaning service instead. At Power Vac of Ottawa, we use state-of-the-art equipment to remove any particles within the system to ensure it’s clean and safe for you and your family.
If you need a dryer vent cleaning service for your home or business in Ottawa, contact us at Power Vac of Ottawa today. We’ve been serving residents throughout the area for years with comprehensive cleanings that help preserve their machines while minimizing any risks. We also provide residential and commercial ductwork cleaning. Give us a call!