Hidden Risks of DIY Dryer Duct Cleaning That Can Harm Your Home
When you read the word “dryer duct”, what springs to mind? If it’s thoughts of fire hazards and clogged ducts, then you’re not alone. These are common concerns among homeowners that have never taken on a DIY dryer duct cleaning project before. However, thanks to modern technology and information, fear of danger is misplaced for most people who plan to take on this task themselves. In fact, there are many potential benefits to cleaning your own dryer duct rather than hiring a professional service to do so. Unfortunately, as with most home maintenance projects, there are also some hidden risks that you need to be aware of before proceeding with a DIY dryer duct cleaning project. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of hiring professionals vs doing it yourself with these helpful tips.
It’s A Lot Safer Than You Think
In the past, the danger of fires caused by clogged dryer vents was very real. Old style, conventional dryer vents that were created in the 1950s were made of hollow steel ducts. These ducts would become clogged with lint and catch fire, leading to loss of life and property damage. However, in the 1980s the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) came out with new safety standards for dryer venting. This led to a major change in the design of dryer vents, making them safer and easier to clean. Today, dryer vents are either made of solid plastic or steel ducts that are encased inside a heavy-duty aluminum pipe. This prevents lint from accumulating in the ducts and makes it easy for homeowners to clean their own dryer vents without the need for special equipment.
Dryer Duct Cleaning is Surprisingly Affordable
The average cost of hiring a professional dryer duct cleaning company to come out to your home is around $100. This might seem like a small price to pay, but the number of services that charge these rates is significant. This means you might be faced with a long wait for an available cleaning service or scheduling your duct cleaning job during an inconvenient time. And with busy schedules, it might be hard to find the time to fit the service into your life. For DIY cleaning, the only investment you need to make is time, perhaps a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands from lint, and a dryer hose brush to clean out your dryer’s lint trap.
DIY Drying Is Far Superior To Cleaning
Some homeowners don’t realize that the cleaning process alone will not solve the problem of clogged ducts. Dryer vents that are regularly clogged with lint need to be cleaned out in order to facilitate proper airflow. But once the ducts are cleared, they need to be kept that way. While cleaning your own dryer ducts can be an effective way to deal with clogged ducts, it isn’t a long-term solution. That’s because lint build-up inside your dryer ducts is inevitable. Every time you use your dryer, lint will be deposited inside the dryer duct. In addition, lint from your washing machine will be deposited there as well. In order to keep your dryer working efficiently and prevent your home from becoming overly humid and damp, you should clean your dryer ducts out every year. Or even better, you can use a dryer duct cleaning company to do the job for you.
Your Home Will Be More Comfortable to Live In
One of the benefits of hiring a professional dryer duct cleaning service is that they will also thoroughly clean your dryer. It’s important to remember that the lint that clogs your dryer ducts is also deposited inside your dryer itself. This buildup will cause your dryer to take longer to dry your clothes, raising your utility bills and costing you more money. Risks posed by a dirty dryer include bacteria and mildew growth, which can lead to harmful health conditions, and a musty smell. When your dryer is clean, it will run more efficiently, leading to reduced utility bills, and your clothes will dry faster too. Similarly, your dryer will be cleaner, meaning it will pollute the air in your home less.
It Could Lead to Long-term Savings and Greater Efficiency
Having a clean dryer and duct system is important because it allows your dryer to operate at peak efficiency. This will save you money in the long run, as you’ll be using less energy to dry your clothes. What’s more, having a cleaning company clean your dryer ducts on an annual basis during their duct cleaning service will also keep your dryer’s motor running more efficiently. This is because a clogged duct can put extra stress on your dryer’s motor, leading to premature wear and tear. This is especially true for homeowners with gas dryers, who will want to make sure their ducts are clean to prevent damage to their furnace.
The Only Hidden Risk: Damage to Your Dryer or Dryer Vent
The one downside to DIY dryer duct cleaning is that it isn’t always done correctly. If you don’t use the right cleaning tools or follow the correct cleaning instructions, you risk damaging your dryer and your dryer vent. Duct cleaning companies make their living from this type of work and know that they need to protect their customers’ dryers. That’s why they use high-quality cleaning tools and follow a proven process when cleaning out your dryer ducts. A DIY cleaner who doesn’t know the right way to clean out a dryer vent might not notice when the ducts are clogged. Instead, they may simply be cleaning out the lint that they can reach with the cleaning tools they are using. This could lead to a situation where the ducts are cleaned out, but they are still clogged. This is because the lint that is too far inside the ducts to be reached by cleaning tools is too deep for your vacuum to remove.