Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

Dryer Vents and When to Clean


Properly maintained dryer vents are as crucial to home safety as properly maintained chimneys. When to clean them also depends on a myriad of variables such as amount of use, what is going through them, and other house-specific circumstances. The best advice anyone can offer is to consult a professional about the frequency of safety cleanings given your individual situation.

Clean Dryer Vents - Baton Rouge LA - Basic Chimney Sweep

Important Variables

That said, variables of critical importance are:

  •  length
  • number of turns and jointed corners
  • shared venting with other appliances
  • exterior caps
  • what you put in the dryer

The last is why spring always brings a reminder from venting professionals to include dryer vents in your seasonal house cleaning. Considerably more bedding is typically put in dryers, along with sweaters being packed away until fall. That means more lint is going into the vent, if it is functioning properly to begin with, and that lint is dangerous.

A Seasonal Reminder

We believe no home owner is unaware at this point that dryer vents are the source of many house fires. You would literally need to live under a rock to remain oblivious to the constant news reports and public service messages in this regard. We also believe that every homeowner has a lot going on in spring and forgetting to clean the dryer vent is completely understandable.

So we remind you now: If you do not have short straight dryer venting — unshared with other appliances — that you can access completely, call a pro. If you do not have an exterior cap on venting you know to be clean and in good condition, cap it.

If your venting does meet those requirements, please exercise care appropriate to the venting material. Flexible aluminum venting is more easily damaged, but even metal vents can sustain damage if cleaned improperly. Remember, too, that more baby animals are looking for a nice hiding place in spring, so do not leave your vents open to the great outdoors.



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National Chimney Sweeps Guild Chimney Safety Institute of America