A poorly-maintained dryer vent is one of the leading causes of fires, according to the US Fire Administration. More than 2,900 fires occur annually due to a buildup of lint. Due to the loosening of lint from vigorous water movement, as each laundry load makes its way through your dryer, these small fibers and cloth particles make their way into your lint filter.
However, not all the lint loosened in the process reach the removable lint filter in your dryer. Lint gets trapped inside the filter’s deep crevices. It moves along in the ductwork on its way out to the vent opening. A lint buildup may lead to overheating, then fire due to restricted airflow. That is why dryer vent cleaning is crucial.
Types of Dryer Vent Tubing
Not all types of dryer vent tubing are appropriate for your dryer ducts. Some examples of pipes are not allowed by building codes as these are made of materials that are not safe or may cause fires and other accidents. Sometimes, the cost of dryer vent tubing is also part of your consideration. No matter, here are some types of dryer vent tubing:
Aluminum foil duct – this connects from the appliance to the central duct, and this is a common type of dryer transition duct. This duct is usually made of flexible aluminum foil and should not be concealed inside walls.
Rigid metal duct – this type of duct material is the only appropriate choice for concealed duct installations such as inside walls and floors.
Semi-rigid metal duct – this is flexible and similar to foil ducting. Semi-rigid is used for transition ducting. This tubing should not be concealed in walls or floors.
Skinny duct – also called a periscope duct, it is a rigid aluminum duct that is perfect for transition ducting in tight places. This will allow you to push your dryer close to the wall making this a great space-saving option.
Plastic or vinyl duct is similar to aluminum foil duct but instead of metal foil, which uses a thin plastic. This type of tubing is quite popular over the years. However, this type of dryer vent tubing is not allowed in most building codes because it is prone to catching lint and, eventually, overheating.
How to Clean Dryer Vents from Inside
Although dryer vent cleaning is best left to the experts like Merlin’s Home Services for convenience and their high skill level, cleaning your dryer vents requires special considerations and preparations. For one, flexible duct tubing usually made from plastic or vinyl are ribbed and are prone to catching lint. It is best to replace them to avoid the possibility of fires.
Another consideration is the availability of special brushes to shake up the lint from hard to reach parts of the duct walls and reach deep enough into the lint filter to clean it. It would help if you also had a vacuum with a long hose attachment, screwdrivers, drill, dryer vent brush kit, and metal foil duct tape. Afterwards, you need to do the following:
- Remove the lint trap filter
- Vacuum inside the lint trap housing
- Unplug the dryer ductwork
- Clean the duct section
- Replacing or reattaching the ductwork