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Cleaning Out Dryer Ducts

A quick maintenance routine reduces the risk of fire in your laundry room

Cleaning out dryer ducts
Illustration by Narda Lebo
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Clothes dryers exhaust more than just hot air. They also spew out lint and dust, much of which gets stuck inside the ductwork. Over time, a thick layer of debris can build up and create a fire hazard.

To help reduce the chance of fire, use a wet/dry vacuum to clean out the dryer duct at least twice a year. Start by disconnecting the flexible duct from the rear of the dryer. Insert the vacuum wand into the duct as far as possible. Then disconnect the other end of the duct and repeat the process. Vacuum out the port on the rear of the dryer, too, before replacing the duct.

Also, remove the louvered vent on the outside of the house and insert the vacuum wand into the duct to clear out any remaining dust and lint.

Cleaning Out Dryer Ducts
Illustration by Narda Lebo
Cleaning Out Dryer Ducts

Clothes dryers exhaust more than just hot air. They also spew out lint and dust, much of which gets stuck inside the ductwork. Over time, a thick layer of debris can build up and create a fire hazard.

To help reduce the chance of fire, use a wet/dry vacuum to clean out the dryer duct at least twice a year. Start by disconnecting the flexible duct from the rear of the dryer. Insert the vacuum wand into the duct as far as possible. Then disconnect the other end of the duct and repeat the process. Vacuum out the port on the rear of the dryer, too, before replacing the duct.

Also, remove the louvered vent on the outside of the house and insert the vacuum wand into the duct to clear out any remaining dust and lint.

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