Tips & Advice
How can you tell if a dryer vent needs cleaning?
If the dryer surface feels very hot while it’s running, and clothes take more time than the standard cycle to become dry, the vent needs cleaning. Other signs include a very humid or hot laundry room and an excess of lint around the dryer.
Does vent cleaning improve efficiency?
Yes, vent cleaning often improves efficiency, provided there are no other issues with the dryer, and especially if the vent is very clogged before cleaning.
A dryer vent is the opening from the dryer ducts to the outdoors that allows the warm, moist air being processed to escape from back of the dryer. Over many repetitions of this process, it also catches a lot of lint. Cleaning the vent regularly will also make sure that leaves and other outdoor debris won’t clog it.
How often should dryer vents be cleaned?
Dryer vents should be cleaned annually at minimum, but ideally every four to six months, or more frequently if you dry multiple loads daily.
Do dryer vents need to be cleaned regularly?
Yes, dryer vents should be cleaned regularly because clogged dryer vents are a fire hazard (due to the trapped lint) and exhaust fumes contain poisonous carbon monoxide. Less dire reasons are that clogged dryer vents prevent clothes from drying and therefore put excessive wear on the appliance, because it takes more cycles to get clothes dry.
Why is it important to keep air ducts clean?
The most important reason to keep air ducts clean is your health! Particularly if you have allergies, sensitivities, or respiratory issues, it’s important to keep the air quality high--not to mention potentially dangerous molds from building up. It’s also important for the health of your HVAC system. Keeping it clean and well maintained will improve performance and the life expectancy of the HVAC unit.
What are the most common sources of air duct build up?
The most common sources of air duct buildup are the number of people and pets living in the residence, and the air quality in the local area. All of these affect interior air quality. The more dust, dirt, and random air particles floating about, the more that are drawn into the HVAC system.
How do you get rid of mold in air ducts?
Mold in the air ducts can be an easy DIY fix. First, turn OFF your HVAC system. Find an approved cleaning solution. Pour or spray the solution on the infected area. Put on protective gear and a mask - you do not want to make contact with the mold (or chemicals! or breathe it in. Scrub the area using disposable towels or brushes, and be sure to check the drip pan and evaporator coils. Vacuum the affected areas after cleaning. Bag all your rags and utensils and dispose of properly. Apply an inhibitor to the affected areas to prevent future growth. It is recommended to call a professional if you have more than 10 square feet of mold as this may be too big of a job, or there might be other/larger issues. Even if you don’t have more than 10 square feet of mold, you can still call a professional to clean it up.
How often should residential air ducts be cleaned?
Under normal conditions, standard-use residential ducts (HVAC systems) should be cleaned every three to five years. Usage, system age and condition, local air quality, and number of residents and pets can affect cleaning frequency needs. Harsher conditions might require cleaning as often as every two years. Obviously, if your system is not functioning properly or the output air quality is bad, consult a professional sooner rather than later to get a proper diagnosis.
How can I tell if the duct cleaning was done well?
The best way to know if your cleaning was effective is through improved performance of your HVAC system, ideally. You can have before-and-after pictures taken of the ducts (make sure they are of the intake ducts - the ducts that return air into your room), motor and coils. Another tip is smell – sniff the ducts before and after the work is done. Outside of noticeably improved performance, smell and visual evidence are your best indicators.