While necessary for proper dryer performance, cleaning lint buildup from your dryer vent requires special care and safety precautions. Neglecting these precautions when removing lint can lead to fire risks, damage to your vent or dryer, and health issues from airborne contaminants.
Here are the key safety measures to follow when cleaning your dryer vent:
Wear protective equipment
At a minimum, don safety gloves, dust mask and goggles to protect from skin and respiratory irritants and flying debris. Long sleeves are also recommended.
Shut off power to your dryer
Always disconnect the power to your dryer at the breaker before cleaning to avoid electrical shock hazards. The dryer should remain unplugged until vent cleaning is finished.
Work on a cool dryer
Wait until your dryer has completely cooled before cleaning to avoid burns from hot internal components while working.
Avoid excess pressure
When using compressed air to clean the vent, limit nozzle pressure to 30 PSI to avoid damaging the vent or scattering lint particles inside your home.
Contain flying debris
Put plastic sheeting under and around the dryer vent exterior opening to catch most of the flying lint and contain it. Store captured lint in a sealed bag afterward.
Ventilate the area
Open windows and run fans or ventilation during and after cleaning to exhaust any remaining airborne particles. This helps prevent them from resettling.
Clean both ends of the vent
Access and thoroughly clean from both the interior and exterior vent openings to remove all lint buildup. Inspect for damage while cleaning.
Consider ventilation attachments
For heavy buildup or hard-to-reach vents, attachments that connect to your vacuum cleaner hose can help remove lint more easily and safely.
Call a pro for damaged or inaccessible vents
If your vent is rusted, corroded, crushed or otherwise inaccessible, professional cleaning
is recommended to avoid potential safety issues.
By following these safety precautions, you can clean your dryer vent securely and effectively. But for optimal safety, performance and peace of mind, professional dryer vent cleaning is recommended at least once a year to thoroughly remove built-up contaminants and inspect your entire system.
Stay safe by being aware of the risks associated with dryer vent cleaning and taking the proper precautions to protect yourself, your family and home.