As is the case with most household utilities, a clothes dryer, and especially the exhaust vent, need to be maintained from time to time.
This might surprise you, but a multi-purpose leaf blower could be just a time-saving tool to assist you in cleaning out your dryer vent.
While you might normally consider a leaf blower to be useful in yard work, it can also be an effective tool to clean your dryer vent.
Learn more on how to clean dryer vent with a leaf blower.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Steps on How to Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vents
- 1.1 1. Turn of the gas valve
- 1.2 2. Gain access to the dryer vent
- 1.3 3. Remove the outside vent cover
- 1.4 4. Clean the dryer vent from the outside
- 1.5 5. Insert the leaf blower and make a seal
- 1.6 6. Turn on the leaf blower
- 1.7 7. Check the outside of the dryer vent
- 1.8 8. Put the dryer vent back in place
- 2 FAQ
- 3 Conclusion
Steps on How to Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vents
Dryer vents need to be cleaned out regularly because if they aren’t, then you run the risk of inefficient drying, among other things.
Below is a step-by-step process in how to clean out a dryer vent with a leaf blower as well as why you should clean your dryer vent.
1. Turn of the gas valve
Before you start, if you have a gas dryer, you need to first turn off the gas valve that leads to the dryer.
To do this, unplug the electric switch, then turn off the gas valve. If your dryer is electric, then you can skip this step.
2. Gain access to the dryer vent
Next, access your clothes dryer vent by removing the vent hose and remove the dust from the dryer vent outlet.
Then, access the vent opening and move it from the wall towards the outside. You’ll need access to the backend in order to clean the vent.
It’s important to make a mental note on how your dryer vent connects to the wall so you can reconnect it later.
3. Remove the outside vent cover
To remove the external vent cover, you’ll probably need a screwdriver to take apart the cover.
If you don’t remove the external cover, then the air blowing from your pipe will put too much pressure on the tubing, you could possibly ruin your dryer.
4. Clean the dryer vent from the outside
After removing the external vent cover, you should start cleaning the air vent manually. For this, you can use a vacuum cleaner and brush as well.
This will help remove the excess dust around the dryer vent.
If you’re looking for a vent brush, we suggest a brush like this circular brush with extension. We have not personally used it but our neighbors have and they say it works wonders in cleaning out their dryer vents.
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5. Insert the leaf blower and make a seal
Once you’ve completed cleaning from the outside, insert the leaf blower’s end into the dryer’s air vent from the inside.
We suggest using only an electric-powered leaf blower can be used. A gas-powered leaf blower is much more powerful, but at the same time, the fire risks and the gas fumes in the house are why we don’t recommend gas-powered leaf blowers for this task.
Important note: make sure not to use the highest setting because it could possibly damage your venting duct.
After you insert the leaf blower, you’ll need to seal the vent around the leaf blower nozzle.
Duct tape and a towel can be used to secure this seal and prevent air from escaping. Wrap the seal with a towel and then use duct tape to secure any gaps.
6. Turn on the leaf blower
Now, start your leaf blower at its lowest setting.
The process works best if the pipe is non-concertina-style ducting. Whereas concertina-style piping has folds in which lint can possibly remain stuck regardless of what you do.
However, if you do have concertina-style tubing, you can try to avoid dust collection buildup in the duct by using small blasts of air with the leaf blower.
To remove all the dust from the pipe, repeat this process for 30 seconds.
If you smell burning plastic or a strong metallic scent, then stop the process for a while – this will allow the duct pipe to cool.
Once you start up again and you keep smelling some sort of burning smell, stop. Check to see if there is anything blocking the vent.
Fire hazards can be caused by continuous blasts of hot air from your dryer or the leaf blower, so make absolutely certain that the vent is not blocked with anything.
7. Check the outside of the dryer vent
Check from the outside that the dust and lint are removed. After, clean the external vent of the dryer once more. Again, making sure that the duct is clear of any dust and lint.
8. Put the dryer vent back in place
When you’ve completed the cleaning, make sure to put all the things back in their place and securely screw them back on.
Make sure when putting all the parts together to seal the venting with metal duct tape. This metal duct tape is secure and can withstand the heat that the venting gives off when the dryer is on.
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Why Is It Important To Remove Lint Regularly?
Cleaning lint traps regularly can increase your dryer’s efficiency and better manage airflow, but once lint and dust get trapped in the venting, you won’t have an efficient dryer.
Though dryers are designed to eliminate a certain amount of lint and dust, sometimes excess lint can get stuck in the ductwork.
If this happens, it can reduce outgoing airflow, meaning that your dryer won’t dry your clothes as efficiently as it should.
Should I Use An Electric Or Gas Leaf Blower To Clean A Dryer Vent?
Never use gas leaf blowers to clean the dryer vent as it can be a fire hazard.
If there is a lot of lint, then using a leaf blower, especially a gas-powered one, can be a fire hazard with the heat build-up.
Is There Any Trick For Cleaning A Dryer Vent With A Leaf Blower?
There is no shortcut or trick in using a leaf blower to blow all the lint out of your dryer vent.
It is useful if you take notes on the disassembly of the different parts so that when you’re done, you can put all the parts back together.
If you are still unsure about the process, our suggestion is to call a professional to clean your dryer vent.
If you are looking for a new leaf blower, we have an entire post discussing the best leaf blowers to buy today.
However, we do suggest this particular leaf blower as it’s one that we’ve used before, and to put it simply, it just works.
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Like other household items, a dryer vent is a necessary part of life. But like all things, the dryer needs regular maintenance as well.
If you have a leaf blower handy, you can clean out your dryer vent yourself without calling in a professional.
Good luck and let us know how you do with cleaning your dryer vent with a leaf blower.
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Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.