Many people are unsure how often they should clean out their dryer vent and sometimes not even aware that it is an important home maintenance task they need to keep up with.
Let’s look at some factors that influence how often you should clean out your dryer vent.
- The length of the dryer vent.
- The equivalent length of the dryer vent. We will explain the difference between length and equivalent length in a moment.
- How many loads of laundry are being done each week.
- How many pets are in the home and if they shed.
Dryer Vent Length
How long your dryer vent is will have a big impact on how quickly lint accumulates inside the vent. Lint accumulation will slow restrict the dryer vents airflow, this puts a strain on the dryer, hinders performance and increases your fire risk.
The length of your dryer vent is how long the vent is from where your dryer connection hose connects to it inside your laundry room, to where it exits on the outside of the home. According to building code, all dryer vents must exit to the exterior of the home.
Long dryer vent runs will accumulate lint faster and require more regular cleaning. The other factor that affects dryer vent performance is how many turns the dryer vent has. Each turn adds equivalent length to your dryer vent. Equivalent length is how far your dryer is actually having to push air. For example: 1 90 degree turn in your dryer vent would add 5 feet of equivalent length. If your dryer vent has a lot of twists and turns then it wil have a longer equivalent length and require more regular cleaning.
What if I don’t know how long my dryer vent is?
If you are unsure of how long your dryer vent is then one of the best things you can do is to schedule a full service cleaning appointment.
One benefit of scheduling a Full-Service Dryer Vent Cleaning Appointment with us is that our cleaning appointment includes an inspection of your dryer vent system and digital report.
Our dry vent system report includes information regarding:
- Total Dryer Vent Length
- Equivalent Length
- Number and Type of Turns
- Condition of Fittings
- Vent Hood Type
- Connection Hose Condition
- Air Flow Test Reading Before Cleaning
- Air Flow Test Reading After Cleaning
- Recommendations On Needed Repairs
- Recommended Cleaning Frequency
- and more
Is neglecting cleaning a fire risk?
Yes, according to the US Fire Administration dryer fires are the second leading cause of house fires in the United States and failure to clean the vent was the cause of over 34% of all dryer related fires.
General Cleaning Guidelines
As a general rule of thumb having your dryer vent cleaned annually is the best practice for most homeowners and dryer vent systems.
If your dryer vent is very short or you are not doing that much laundry each week than your need for cleaning may be less.
If you have never had your vent cleaned professionally before than we would recommend scheduling a full-service cleaning appointment to better understand how your vent runs and how often it should be cleaned.