At first glance at the title, you might be thinking, “Okay, I clean the screen. That's easy!” You might even be cleaning out the small screen on your dryer every time you use it, which is great.
Yes, cleaning the main screen is easy and most of us do that on a regular basis. However, there is more to cleaning a dryer vent to protect your home from fire. There are about 15,000 fires each year caused by dryer exhaust. So, we wanted to take some time to give you the whole story.
First, you should absolutely clean the screen that you can easily reach every time you use the dryer. This will help your dryer perform better and help keep the lint from getting into the dryer hose.
The rest of the story is about the dryer hose and ductwork. Once a year the entire system needs to be cleaned to keep your dryer performing and to prevent a home fire. You could hire someone to do it, but we want to help you save some money by showing you how easy it can be.
1. Get a brush that is designed for cleaning the coils under your refrigerator. You can find this at any home improvement store. Bend it into a curve. Pull the screen out and use the brush to clean out what got through the screen. Then use a vacuum attachment to get anything loosened by the brush.
2. Pull the dryer away from the wall and take off the silver duct tube from the wall and dryer. Use the vacuum cleaner to clean the area on the dryer and the wall where the hose was connected. This is also a good time to clean under the dryer.
3. This next step might be best done outside. Take a garbage bag, the vacuum cleaner and the silver hose outside. Dump what is in the silver hose in the garbage bag; give it a good shake to get the contents out. Then use your vacuum cleaner hose to get the rest. Be gentle; you don't want to damage the hose. This hose is inexpensive, so you may prefer to simply buy a new one.
4. Attach the exhaust tube to the dryer and the wall and clean any loose dust or lint that got on the floor or dryer. Put the dryer back where it was.
5. Check the exterior vent on your house. Be sure there is a screen to keep birds out, and take some time to clean it.
You are finished! In five easy steps you have taken action to reduce the possibility of a house fire caused by dryer exhaust.
Protect your home from the cost of a fire. Call Sameday Insurance Services for more information on home insurance.