Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vent Lately?!?!?! You set your clocks back or forward, you may replace your smoke detector batteries, you might even toggle your circuit breakers in the main panel once a year!!… but when was the last time you cleaned the lint entirely out of the vent tubing from the clothes dryer all the way to the outside? Dryer vent lint is extremely combustible and if clogged in the system can cause a fire in the dryer. For those of you with fancy laundry set-ups more is at stake for you. I once witnessed a home inspection where the 2nd floor laundry dryer vented up through the walls, the attic and ultimately out the roof. The vent tubing became detached in the attic and for years the dryer lint was exhausting into the attic and wall cavities. The entire place had to be remediated as it was a severe flash fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are 15,500 clothes dryer fires annually. (www.safetyathome.com)Today I disassembled the entire vent tubing, vacuumed it out, cleaned out the bottom tubing of the actual dryer, and put it all back together. Took me about 35 minutes but it really depends on your set-up. Do NOT be too proud to have a professional vent cleaning company come out to do this simple task. Simple this task is but it is also an exhaust vent. For those of us with gas dryers the vent exhausts combustion gases that may be harmful to those in your house if not properly re-assembled and tested.
Now, photo wise you see I really like high-contrast black and white photography and this is not the first time you will see me use this setting/technique in this blog. But take a look at the photo. This is a photo of two different types of dryer vent tubing. The one on the left is smooth but it is rigid and NOT flexible. Most installers of appliances prefer to work with the one on the right. It is flexible and easier to install in most homes. The downside of the flexible tubing on the right is actually the texture. The ribs catch and hold behind more lint!! Thus you need more regular cleaning!! Both are to code in most municipalities. BUT!!!… Should you have white plastic flexible vent tubing this is NO LONGER to code in most areas and it should be replaced.