Cleaning an Outside Dryer Vent

Cleaning an Outside Dryer Vent

Cleaning an Outside Dryer Vent

  • Posted by ziad
  • On March 1, 2022
  • dryer vent cleaning, every dryer

Outside Dryer Vent

Your outside dryer uses motion and warm air to extract the moisture out of your laundry, and it needs a way to get rid of all of the damp air. It is a duct that connects from the dryer itself into the wall. Also it carries the warm air to be released outside. Over time, if you don’t learn how to clean dryer vent from outside, this buildup becomes inefficient and, eventually, dangerous. When it starts to obstruct airflow, you’ll find that your dryer will take longer to dry your laundry. Ultimately, a blocked dryer vent can lead to a dangerous fire.

Instructions of Cleaning an Outside Dryer Vent

Check the Vent Opening

Check the exterior vent while the dryer is running to make sure the slats are opening freely. If they are not opening correctly, turn off the dryer and open the vent manually.

Inspect the Vent

Inspect the hinges for rust and oil lightly with a lubricant if needed. The vent should also be inspected for cracks or missing parts. Missing parts can allow insects and vermin to enter the ductwork and your laundry area, and no one wants that.

Remove Lint and Debris

Use your hand or a long-handled, wire brush to remove clogging lint. Regular cleaning is especially important in humid climates where moisture can cause lint to mat and cling to the vent causing it to malfunction.

Wash the Vent Cover

If the vent cover is soiled with dust and dirt, mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid in warm water and scrub away the soil with a brush or old cloth. Rinse well with clean water and allow to dry.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Tips to Keep the Outside Vent Air Flowing

In addition to cleaning the outside vent regularly, it is important to maintain an unblocked flow of air into and out of the vent. You should follow these tips:

  • Do not plant large, dense shrubs in front of the outside dryer vent.
  • Never allow yard debris (leaves, pine straw, mulch) to block the vent.
  • You shouldn’t allow snow to pile up in front of the vent. The hot air exhausted from the vent may temporarily melt the snow but it will refreeze and cause more problems.

Which Type of Outside Dryer Vent Is Best?

Dryer vents are available in several designs and materials. You can find both metal and plastic covers. While metal can be painted, most companies offer plastic covers in a number of different colors to match exterior sidings. If using a gas-powered clothes dryer, a metal exterior vent is highly recommended.

The most durable type of exterior wall vent cover is made of metal and has a magnetic door or damper that remains closed when the dryer is not in use. When the dryer is activated, the door will automatically open as the air is expelled. This type is more expensive than the plastic covers with several slats that open when airflow begins but do not “latch” when the dryer is not operating.


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