Chimney and Dryer Vent Cleaning: 5 Facts Homeowners Must Know

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According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are an estimated 17,000 fires each year caused by clothes dryers. These fires result in an average of 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property damage.

It’s almost the same with chimneys, as the National Fire Protection Association reports an estimated 25,000 chimney fires yearly in the United States.

As you can see, keeping these areas of your home clean is crucial to preventing accidents. That’s why having a regular chimney and dryer vent cleaning is essential. Our guide will explore five facts about these cleanings that every homeowner should know.

Do You Need to Call a Professional to Clean Your Dryer Vent?

It would be best if you had a professional clean your dryer vents at least once a year. Some experts recommend doing it every four to six months, depending on how often you use your dryer. This will help to prevent lint buildup, which can be a fire hazard.

Recognizing the importance of dryer vent cleaning is more than just about maintenance, it’s about ensuring the safety of your home and its inhabitants

The National Fire Protection Association estimated that at least 33% of all dryer fires resulted from failure to clean the dryer vent between 2010 – 2014.

Fast forward to date, unclean dryers still account for a third of the 17,000 home clothes dryer fires reported to U.S. fire departments each year. Therefore, it’s crucial for homeowners to take the necessary steps to hire a professional to clean their dryer vents.

How Do Professionals Clean Dryer Vents?

Cleaning your dryer vent requires special equipment that most homeowners don’t have. Understanding the responsibilities of dryer maintenance is essential. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional. The following are some steps professional cleaners will take to clean your dryer vent.

Step 1: Remove the Connecting Pipe For Better Access

The dryer vent is the long pipe that connects your clothes dryer to the outside of your home. It blows hot air and lint out of your dryer and into the outdoors.

This pipe helps to vent the hot air and lint that builds up inside the dryer. The first step a professional will take is to remove this pipe to have better access to clean the vent.

Step 2: Clean Lint From the Connecting Pipe using a brush with long bristles

After removing the connecting pipe, the next step is to clean out all of the lint that has built up inside it.

They will use a special brush with long bristles to reach the bottom of the pipe and remove as much lint as possible.

Step 3: Clean the lint from the dryer vent with the same brush

Once the connecting pipe is clear, they will clean the lint from the dryer vent. This step is essential because the lint can build up and cause a fire. They will use the same brush to remove all of the lint from the vent.

Step 4: Run a specialized dryer-vent brush with vacuum assistance to thoroughly clean the vent

To ensure that the vent is prominent, the professional will run a specific dryer-vent brush through it while vacuuming. This brush has long bristles that reach the bottom of the vent tube and remove all of the lint.

Step 5: Inspect the vent for damage and make repairs if necessary

After they have cleaned the vent, they will inspect it for any damage. If they find any damage, they will repair it before reattaching the vent to the dryer. The professionals will also check the dryer to make sure it is in good working condition.

Step 6: Offer tips on how to prevent future lint buildup.

The last thing the professional will do is share tips on preventing lint buildup. They will give you specific instructions on how often to clean your vent and what lint trap to use. Following their advice will help to keep your dryer vent clean and prevent a fire.

As you can see, there’s much more to cleaning a dryer vent than most people realize. It’s best to leave it to the professionals to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.


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Benefits of Dryer Vent Cleaning

There are several benefits of having your dryer vent cleaned by a professional, and the following are some of the most significant benefits.

Prevents Fires

One of the most significant benefits is that it prevents fires. As we mentioned, lint buildup is a leading cause of dryer fires. By having your vent cleaned regularly, you can reduce the risk of a fire.

Improves Dryer Efficiency

Another benefit is that it improves the efficiency of your dryer. When your vent is clogged with lint, it prevents hot air from escaping.

This causes your dryer to work harder and use more energy. Having a clean vent will help your dryer to run more efficiently.

Reduces Wear and Tear on Your Dryer

In addition to using more energy, a clogged vent causes your dryer to wear out faster. The extra strain from working harder can cause parts to break down sooner.

But cleaning your vent can reduce the wear and tear on your dryer. This is because the dryer won’t work as hard to vent the hot air.

Saves You Money

All of these benefits result in one thing – savings for you. When your dryer is more efficient, it costs less to operate. Additionally, by extending the life of your dryer, you’ll avoid the expense of buying a new one sooner.

As you can see, there are several reasons to have your dryer vent cleaned by a professional. Not only will it prevent fires, but it will also improve the efficiency of your dryer and extend its life. It’s a win-win for you and your wallet!

Benefits of Chimney Sweeping

Several benefits come with having your chimney regularly swept by a professional. The most important ones are:

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

One of the main benefits of chimney sweeping is that it helps prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be extremely dangerous, even deadly, if breathed in high concentrations.

A dirty chimney can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home, which can build up and poison you and your family.

By having your chimney swept regularly, you can help to ensure that any built-up carbon monoxide gas is safely vented out of your home.

Increased Heating System Efficiency

Soot and creosote that builds up in your chimney can decrease the efficiency of your heating system by clogging the flue and diminishing the draft.

Having your chimney swept regularly can prevent this buildup and keep your system running at peak efficiency.

Preventing Chimney Fires

Chimney sweeping helps prevent fires by removing soot and creosote from the chimney.

Soot and creosote are flammable and can easily ignite, causing a dangerous chimney fire. Chimney sweeping also helps ensure that the chimney is in good condition and can safely vent smoke from the fireplace.

Facilitating Easier Inspections

Lastly, another benefit of chimney sweeping is that it allows for easier inspection. Removing the soot and creosote from the chimney makes it easier to see potential damage or problems, which can help prevent dangerous and costly issues down the road.

Signs Your Dryer Vent is Clogged

If you’re unsure if your dryer vent is clogged, there are a few signs. The following are some of the most common signs that it’s time to call a professional for dryer vent cleaning.

  • Your Clothes Take Longer to Dry
    One of the most obvious signs that your vent is clogged is that your clothes take longer to dry. If you have to run your dryer multiple times to get your clothes dry, it’s a good indication of a problem.
  • Your Dryer is Overheating
    Another sign that your vent is clogged is if your dryer is overheating. If you notice that your dryer is excessively hot to the touch, it’s likely due to a clog.
  • There’s Lint on Your Clothes
    Another sign of a clogged vent is lint on your clothes. If you notice that your clothes are covered in lint after a cycle, the lint is not making it through the vent.
  • Your Dryer Smells Strange
    If your dryer has started to smell strange, it’s another sign that something is wrong. A musty or burning smell is usually indicative of a lint fire. If you notice either of these smells, you must call a professional immediately.
  • You Haven’t Cleaned Your Dryer in a Year or More
    If it’s been a year or more since you’ve cleaned your dryer vent, it’s probably time to call a professional. Even if you don’t see any of the signs above, it’s best to be cautious.

If you notice any of the above signs, it’s time to call a professional for dryer vent cleaning. Don’t wait until it’s too late – the sooner you have it cleaned, the better!

How Often Should a Dryer Vent be Cleaned?

According to most experts, you should have your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year. A few factors can increase the frequency, and the following are some of the most common factors contributing to frequent cleaning.

Presence of pets

If you have pets, they can contribute to a clogged dryer vent. Pets shed, and their hair can quickly build up in your vent. If you have pets, it’s best to have your vent cleaned a few times a year.

High frequency of laundry

Another factor contributing to a clogged vent is how often you do laundry. The more laundry you do, the more lint builds up. If you do a lot of laundries, it’s best to have your vent cleaned more frequently.

Length of the vent

The length of your vent also determines how often you should clean it. The longer the vent, the more likely it is to become clogged. If you have a long vent, you should have it cleaned a few times a year.

Use of a gas dryer

If you have a gas dryer, it’s best to have your vent cleaned more frequently. This is because lint and other debris can contribute to a fire.

As you can see, a few factors contribute to how often you should have your vent cleaned. If you’re unsure how often to have it cleaned, it’s best to ask a professional.

No matter how often you have your vent cleaned, it’s always best to be cautious. The last thing you want is a fire in your home, so it’s best to be safe than sorry!


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Dryer Vent Inspection Cost

So, how much does it cost to have a dryer vent inspection? Most dryer vent inspections cost between $30 and $60. However, the cost can vary depending on several factors, including the vent’s length and your location, among other factors.

Additionally, the average cost for a professional to clean a dryer vent is $100-$200. However, the price could be higher if you have a larger home or a more complicated dryer vent system.

If you want to save money, you can always clean your vent. However, we recommend calling a professional for the following reasons.

  • They Have the Right Tools: One of the main reasons to call a professional is that they have the right tools. They have special brushes and vacuums that can penetrate your vent and remove all the lint and debris.
  • They Know What They’re Doing: Another reason to call a professional is that they know what they’re doing. They’ve been trained to safely and effectively clean your vent. If you try to do it yourself, you could damage your vent or start a fire.


Chimney and dryer vent cleaning go hand in hand for various reasons, but safety is the most important. A clogged dryer vent can lead to a fire, so it’s best to be safe and have it cleaned regularly.

If you notice any of the signs above, or it’s been more than a year since you’ve cleaned your vent, it’s time to call a professional.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – call a professional today!

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.