Do it Yourself Dryer Vent Cleaning

Cleaning your dryer vent will not only enhance the efficiency of the machine but will also prevent potential fire hazards. When the machine is fully loaded with wet clothes, it contains over a half-gallon of water. As this water is being removed during drying, the clothes create lint. The lint will accumulate in crevices inside the filter trap, and along the vent hose.

This makes your dryer the major source of fire in your house. According to a study by the USCPC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission), electric dryers are over 2 times more likely to be cause of fire than gas dryers. The origin of the fire can be traced to two places: the lint trap and dryer venting. So if your dryer vent has not been cleaned in the past two years, it needs proper cleansing. Before we get to dyer vent cleaning tips, let’s understand the symptoms of a clogged vent first. 

When to clean your dryer vent

The warning signs that there is a dangerous lint build up in your dryer venting system may include:

– Clothes take longer to dry.

– Clothes don’t dry fully.

– Clothes feel hotter than normal after the drying process.

– The dryer exterior becomes very hot.

– The exterior exhaust vent flapper fails to open fully showing low exhaust velocity.

– Burnt smell emanating from the dyer.

– Laundry room gets more humid than usual.

Things you will need

To effectively clean your dryer vent, you will need a brush specially designed for that purpose. Vacuum attachments alone may not work for you since they do not physically agitate the lint, which is required to separate the lint from the duct. Therefore, look for a duct cleaning brush kit that comes with a long bristle brush for cleaning the lint screen and specialized round bristle brush for cleaning out the round dryer duct. You also need to get a screwdriver and a nut driver for removing and reassembling the dryer venting system.

Dryer vent cleaning procedure

Clean the lint filter 

You are most likely familiar with this step and probably may be doing it regularly such as after every load. In fact, this step is the farthest you have ever gone when it comes cleaning your dryer vent. While lint filter cleaning is important, it will not work in solving the lint buildup problem in the dryer or in the ducts. However, it is the first step in cleaning the venting system, so you need to do it. 

– Pull the lint screen straight out to remove it. 

– Clean the lint screen by brushing it with the fine bristled brush.

Vacuum the lint housing cavity

The next step is to get to parts of the dryer where all kinds of lint are hidden away; the lint housing cavity from which you pulled the lint screen out. You will need the brush with the long handle to reach this area.

– Extend the brush deep down into the cavity.

– Using a slight twisting motion, gently pull the brush out to expose the lint removed.

– Using a vacuum cleaner, vacuum the brush clean of any lint.

– Repeat this procedure till the cavity is completely lint-free

Disconnect parts of dryer vent

Disconnect the various parts of dryer ducting to remove the lint hidden inside. Some people try to clean this mess with all the ducting intact, but if you can easily disconnect the ducting, why waste your time, energy and money to use very long shafted brushes, only to end up with unsatisfactory results. Disconnecting the vent sections allows you to easily and effectively clean every section.

To properly disconnect and reconnect the ducting sections, follow these steps:

– Unplug the dryer.

– If you are dealing with a gas dryer, turn the gas valve off at the dryer.

– Disconnect the duct at the closest joint to the dryer.

– Pull away the dyer from the wall.

– Disconnect the remaining parts of dryer ducting.

Insert brush into dryer ducting

This is the point when it gets a little dirty. You will greatly reduce the number 1 risk of fire in your house by doing this.

– Start by fastening one end of the duct brush to the flexible fiberglass shaft that comes with the cleaning kit. The shaft has many threaded sections which you can fasten together according to your needs. 

– The other brush end can be used to manually turn the brush by hand, or it may be fastened to a variable speed drill.

– Insert the brush into the dyer duct and rid it clean of any lint by pushing the cleaning brush back and forth while rotating it. 

– Go gently and if you use a speed drill, ensure you slow down the speed. After most of the debris is removed, you may gradually increase the speed to make sure the duct is completely clean.

– Perform this cleaning process for each dryer duct section along with all the elbows. Make sure the exterior exhaust discharge cap is completely cleaned out without leaving any lint obstruction.

Reassemble Dryer Ducting

After the dryer duct is cleaned out completely, reassemble it. Use the following steps:

– Attach an adjustable 90 degree elbow to the dryer’s exhaust end. It is advisable to use a rigid flexible duct as the elbow and not a semi-rigid one. This is because the semi-rigid duct may kink when you push the dryer back into place, causing a major blockage to exhaust flow.

– Attach all rigid and semi-rigid metal ductwork sections using a 4-inch worm-drive stainless steel duct band clamp.

– Turn gas valve on if you are using a gas dryer.

– Plug in dryer.

– Ensure the lint screen is properly fixed.

Clean your lint filter each time you use your dryer. This will help not only to prevent lint from accumulating in the vent but also help your dryer to run efficiently. When cleaning the vents, you might also consider removing the dryer’s bottom front panel and clean there too. Also, clean the area around the filter. By cleaning the dyer vents, you are basically protecting your home from pollutants, smokes and fires. The energy cost will significantly reduce, and your dryer would last longer. 

If this sounds like a lot of work, you would be correct. Then give us a call and let us do all your dryer vent cleaning for you.

Picking the Right Vacuum Cleaner for Your Carpet Part 1

With the vast selection of styles, models and manufacturers in the vacuum cleaner industry it can become a little overwhelming on where to start looking for the right vacuum for your specific cleaning needs. The following information should help give you a starting point and speed up your search in getting the right vacuum.

Deep Cleaning Vacuums (or steam vacuums):

Typical features on a deep cleaning vacuum include rotating brushes that agitate the carpet pile and loosen the dirt for a more thorough clean; on hard floor surfaces the rotating brushes gently scrub the floor clean. Some models have a handy automatic tool conversion button or switch that you push/flip as you move from carpeted surfaces to hard floor surfaces or vice versa.
The most common use for a deep cleaning vacuum is for the removal of carpet stains, hot water and the cleaning solution are pushed deep into the carpet to extract the stain. Special nozzles can be attached to make it more effective. When the job is complete you just empty the container, most models are equipped with a handy one hand tank removal. Deep cleaning frequency: If you take a scheduled approach to cleaning your carpets they will look cleaner longer. Clean entrances every 4-6 weeks, bedrooms about every 8 weeks, main traffic areas every 12 weeks, clean the entire house every 15 months.

Hand Held Vacuums:

Hand held vacuums are light weight, can be either corded or cordless and most can be mounted on a wall. Cordless performance depends a lot on the charge of the battery, as the battery power drops so does the suction power. Two styles of hand held vacuums include; straight suction or suction with a power brush to agitate the carpet or upholstery for a deeper clean, this works very well on pet hair. Other available attachments include: a brush for upholstery, crevice tool, extension wand and a switch to lock the machine in the on position. If you are considering a hand held vacuum determine its primary purpose, will it be used occasionally on small jobs or part of a regular cleaning schedule? Determining this will better guide you to selecting the right model.

Broom Vacuums:

Broom vacuums or stick vacuums are ideal for small apartments, those quick clean ups in the kitchen, bathroom or family room. The benefit of a broom vacuum is its light weight, if you have trouble pushing your heavier standard upright, this may come as welcome relief. You have the option of getting your vacuum corded or cordless, allowing you the freedom to roam around the house spot cleaning. The light weight, usually just 2lbs.-7lbs, allows you to easily store the unit in the closet taking up minimal space. For quick, convenient disposal of dirt and debris most models are bagles. Broom/stick vacuums work great on those small jobs but they just donít have the power or capacity to clean larger homes, however they are a great companion to your regular size vacuum cleaner. If you have never owned a broom/stick vacuum you might be surprised at how often and useful you find it.


Steam Cleaning

In 1972 an independent research team made a survey and found that the Hot Water, “Steam Extraction Method” was superior to all other methods for cleaning carpeting. In 1988, DuPont required that their Stainmaster Carpets must be steam/water extraction cleaned or the warranty is voided.

Currently there are three basic methods of cleaning carpets: Rotary Shampooing, Dry Cleaning, and Hot Water “Steam” Extraction.

Each of the first two methods have what appear to be two advantages: shorter drying time and less cost. The major disadvantage is that these two methods only surface clean. While we recommend “Steam” Extraction. This method cleans to the base of the fiber rather than scrubbing dirt deeper into the carpet.

Therefore, for your carpets to be truly clean, the first two methods will require almost monthly (costly) cleanings-compared to annual, or biannual Truck-Mounted Hot Water “Steam” Extraction cleaning.

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