Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit
Keeping dryer vents clean can prevent accidental fires and prolong your appliance’s life.
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According to a National Fire Protection Association report,between 2010 and 2015, dryer fires were responsible for seven deaths, 344 injuries, and $233 million in property damage annually. That’sa pretty compelling case for cleaning your dryer vent out regularly. Keeping the vent clean will also allow your dryer to operate more efficiently, so clothes will dry faster and you’ll save on your energy bills. Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop.
If you don’t have a long dryer vent pipe to contend with, any kit that includes a flexible cleaning hose up to about three feet long will work well. These will allow you to clean out the area around a lint trap in the dryer itself. Also remember to clean under the appliance, where lint can pile up. If your dryer vent is close to the dryer itself, disconnect the flexible dryer exhaust hose to access the vent in the wall, then do the same at thebase of the dryer, where the flexible duct work connects. Look for short, flexible tools with stiff-bristled brushes that allow you to scrub the lint off all of the surfaces.
Long tools built to reach around bends in a dryer vent pipe can help you access lint and dirt you might not otherwise be able to clean up. Some models allow you to connect a flexible cleaning hose to your portable vacuum. When used with a bristle brush tip at the end of the hose, this accessory will keep fine dust out of the air and make cleaning a lot easier.
If you have a long run of non-flexible vent pipe that stretches from your dryer to the outside of your home, an extension rod of some kind will do the job. You can attach some flexible extensions to your electric drill, which when activated, spins the extension mandrel. With a mop-type brush attached to the end you can bore your way all the way out to where the dryer vent exits your home, ensuring a nice clean run of pipe that’s lint free. Stiff, pole-type rods that telescope out are great if you don’t have to go around any corners. Many of these kits also have various attachments you can buy to change out lightbulbs in sockets high up in cathedral ceilings, clean the blades on large ceiling fans, or clean and squeegee tall windows that are hard to reach.