Dryer Duct Cleaning: Six FAQs About Cleaning and Repairing Dryer Ducts

The clothes dryer is one of the most-used appliances in a home. Most people use them every day and don’t think twice about upkeep, like dryer duct cleaning, unless they break. Keeping them running well with annual maintenance keeps dryers running efficiently, drastically reducing the possibility of a house fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, approximately 13,800 house fires every year are caused by home clothes dryers. Of these, approximately 25% are caused by an accumulation of dryer lint catching on fire. Following a maintenance schedule that includes annual dryer duct cleaning can help to ensure that household dryers do not become fire hazards.

Here are the top six questions that are most frequently asked about dryer maintenance and dryer duct cleaning:

1) How often should dryer ducts be cleaned and inspected?

Dryer duct cleaning and inspection should be done at least annually. Dryer lint within the ducting can collect over time, reduce the efficiency of the dryer, and even become a fire hazard. Dryer lint is extremely flammable, and the heat of the appliance itself can spark a housefire within the ducting.

When dryer lint builds up in the ducting or the ducting itself is damaged, the hot air does not circulate efficiently though the clothes. If clothes are taking longer than normal to dry, then a dryer duct cleaning and inspection should be scheduled. A clean and repaired dryer duct should restore the dryer back to peak efficiency.

2) What causes dryer fires?

House fires caused by dryers are generally caused when lint builds up within the dryer and catches fire. Most people assume that, if they clean out the lint trap regularly, their dryer is safe from a lint fire. In fact, lint can build up within the dryer itself, as well as in the ducts. Professional dryer duct cleaning makes sure that all of the lint buildup within a dryer is removed.

3) Can dryer ducts be cleaned by the homeowner?

Dryer duct cleaning and inspection should be conducted by trained professionals. They have the tools to clean the ducts thoroughly and are able to quickly remove all lint and debris from the ducting. Trained dryer duct cleaning services can also spot and repair any other issues with the ducting.

Homeowners should clean the lint trap of their dryer each time they use the appliance, though. This is a simple process that involves pulling out the trap, removing the excess lint build up, and replacing the trap before starting the next load of laundry. This important step goes a long way towards keeping a clothes dryer working well, in addition to regular dryer duct cleaning.

4) Are there clues that dryer duct cleaning should be scheduled?

Loads of laundry that take longer than usual to dry could be a clue that a dryer duct cleaning should be scheduled. Excessive lint and debris in the ducts can slow down the drying process. Sometimes, users do not notice the time on their dryers, but they should notice an increase in their energy bills. A higher-than-usual energy bill is a good reason to check on the efficiency of a dryer.

5) What kind of professional dryer duct cleaning is best?

Look for a dryer duct cleaning service that has a Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician on staff. They should also follow the National Air Duct Cleaners Association’s Dryer Exhaust Duct Performance Standard to test the performance of the dryer exhaust duct system to make sure that everything is working well. Professional companies should be able to clean dryer ducting easily and efficiently.

A good dryer duct cleaning service should also inspect all of the dryer ducting and be able to repair any issues they find.

6) Who needs a dryer duct cleaning service?

Any type of clothes dryer should be scheduled annually with a dryer duct cleaning service. Home dryers, laundromats, hotels, apartment laundry rooms, and hospitals all require routine maintenance and inspection.
Dryer duct cleaning and inspection reduces the chances of a dryer fire and allows your dryer to work more efficiently. To stay even safer, dryers should not be left running while the household is sleeping or not at home. Install a smoke detector in the laundry area for maximum protection.