Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dryer Vent Cleaning

The condo that I purchased is a little under 30 years old and of course that means over time, certain things need to be cleaned or replaced. Though there have been many updates throughout and that was why I bought the place, there are some things in need of repair. The furnace is still the original but kicking away just fine (knock on wood). But the drier venting was another story.

After a week here, the drier vents that were duct taped together fell apart. Because the drier is electric and it's been such a cold dry winter, I allowed the drier to just vent in the basement and I pushed the air around with some fans.

Well, eventually the venting fell apart further and I decided it needed to be redone. So my parents came over and helped me take apart this huge project. Mom just had her wisdom teeth pulled earlier in the week so she stayed upstairs on the couch with ice and only came down to check on progress and take pictures.

Before cleaning
The piece that fell apart last week was pretty clogged up with lint and that did have me curious how the rest of the venting would look. A fan was added to the venting at some point because my drier is on the front wall of my house, but needs to vent out the back. For any home, that is a long way to have linty air travel. However, we couldn't tell if the fan was working or not. I was told it was whisper quiet and would run as needed.

So we began taking apart the back of the drier and I was shocked at how much was caked in the drier itself. The drier isn't original, probably something from the mid-2000s, so I couldn't believe how much lint was in the back of it.

I also knew to clean the lint trap on the dryer with soap and water and scrub it. NOTE: if you ever have standing water on top of the lint trap, you need to wash it well. That means the air and such isn't getting thru as efficiently and the cause is fabric softener. It builds up a film on the trap that is invisible. I read about this on Pinterest and I'm glad I did.

Also, I use a lint catcher for my washer too, so I don't clog my drains in my basement with unneeded stuff. After just a week and a few loads of laundry, look how much lint I already caught!

So anyways, my dad and I took apart each piece of venting and scraped out the inside with an old toilet brush (perfect sized tool for this).
Toilet brush works perfectly

One end cleaned!
Like new!
Then we re-taped everything together with the proper tape (and method from my mom) and got the venting back in place.

This was no small task and took a long time, but we are so glad it's done.

And the whole reason the extra fan didn't work was because when it was mounted to the basement ceiling, a screw was put in that was too long and didn't allow the fan blades to move. The second we removed that screw, the fan spun like crazy and shot lint out everywhere. Oh and it's not whisper quiet, you can hear it running and it's working like a charm now.

So although the project was a lot dirtier than I thought, I am so glad to have clean venting and a working fan. My dryer is going to run so much more efficiently now.

So lesson learned and I urge everyone to check their vents and clean out their lint traps after each load. I have heard about too many fires starting from this reason. And if you have aluminum accordion venting, I would suggest replacing it. That is just more places for lint to stick too!

2 comments:

sev stephens said...

this was an informative post on the importance of cleaning the dryer vent-a big fire hazard if left unattended.

Tiffany Casey said...

What a project! Glad it worked out and it was a learning experience. What fun owning a house! :) Can't wait to learn more about what you learn and experience.