Dryers are some of the most crucial pieces of machinery in the home, but many don’t realize that it’s important to clean out their vent often. This not only saves money, but prevents major home disasters as well. Below is more about why it’s vital to clean your dryer vent and how you can do so with a shop vac.
Why It’s Important to Clean Dryer Vents
There are numerous reasons as to why a homeowner needs to clean out their dryer vent.
It Ensures the Device Works Properly
Cleaning out a dryer vent will make sure that this device works properly for years to come. In fact, some might be surprised to learn that a blocked dryer vent can actually cause the device to work slower and emit burning smells. By cleaning the dryer vent, it will not only prevent this, but keep you from having to constantly replace damaged parts.
It Can Help You Save Money
By regularly cleaning out your dryer vent you’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money. Because the vent redirects the dryer’s hot air outdoors, it prevents the room from becoming hot, something which could cause the air conditioner to overwork. In addition to this, cleaning a dryer vent keeps the machine from using a lot of energy, another aspect that could otherwise cause your electric bill to skyrocket.
It Prevents Fires
Over time, a dryer vent will collect lint in its small crevices. If not removed, this lint can end up being a huge fire hazard. Cleaning out the dryer vent prevents the build-up of lint and other flammable materials.
How to Clean a Dryer Vent with a Shop Vac
- Disconnect the Dryer Vent
The first step to cleaning a dryer vent with a shop vac is to disconnect it from the dryer. The easiest way to do this is by gently moving the dryer forward to give you access to the vent in the back. Then, unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet. After doing so, you can then pull the vent off of the wall it’s connected to. Some dryer vents will come off without problems, but a few might be secured to the wall with a clamp. If this is the case, you might need to use a screwdriver to loosen the clamp’s grip.
2. Turn the Shop Vac on and Clean the Vent
After you disconnect the dryer vent you can then grab your shop vac. The best attachments to use with the shop vac for this job are the hose and crevice tool. Both of these will get into hard-to-reach areas to ensure all debris is removed. You might need to occasionally use your hands to pluck out lint that the shop vac misses. After making sure all the lint and other debris are gone, you can then secure the dryer vent back on the wall.
3. Clean the Exterior Dryer Vent Attachment
The last step is to clean the exterior dryer vent attachment. This is usually found outside the structure near where the dryer is located. Depending on the type of shop vac you have, you might need to add a long hose attachment to it so you can easily get to the outside vent.
Once you reach the exterior dryer vent, remove its outer cover and use the shop vac to clean it. After doing so, you can reattach the cover.
Cleaning a dryer vent with a shop vac is easy to do and doesn’t take much time. It also ensures that your home is safe from potential fires that could spark due to left-behind lint in the vent.