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Effective Dryer Vent Cleaning

Inadequate dryer vent maintenance and the subsequent buildup of lint is the leading cause of dryer fires. Even well-cleaned lint screens catches only about 75% of the lint produced, the rest ends up in the venting of the dryer. When lint builds up in dryer vents, the dryer motor has to work much harder, which can cause it to overheat and ignite the lint. Clothes dryers with blocked dryer venting start more residential fires than any other home appliance.

Statistics from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicate that, in one year alone, there were 16,700 fires in the United States originating in clothes dryers (many of which had blocked dryer venting). These fires resulted in 430 injuries, 30 deaths and over $84.4 million in property damage. The CPSC also reports that in one year, approximately 400 people were non-fatally poisoned by carbon monoxide as a result of gas dryers. Proper dryer venting cleaning and maintenance can prevent serious damage to you and your home


Dryer Vent Cleaning Questions

How do I know my dryer venting needs cleaning?

  • Clothes (especially towels or jeans) start to take longer to dry
  • Clothes are hotter than usual at the end of the cycle
  • Flapper on vent hood does not open when dryer is on
  • If you notice any of these signs, schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning immediately. You could save money and even your life with this simple procedure

Why should I clean the venting for my dryer?

  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that there are an estimated annual 15,500 fires, 10 deaths, and 310 injuries associated with clothes dryers, not to mention over $84,000,000 in property damage. {link to} Accumulation of lint and reduced exhaust airflow provide conditions ripe for a fire because lint is highly combustible.
  • Dryer vent cleaning helps to protect your home and its contents from fires
  • Significantly reduces energy operating costs
  • Dryer runs more efficiently
  • Dryers will last longer
  • Clothes will dry faster
  • Reduces utility costs

How can I keep my dryer venting clean between visits?

  • Clean the lint filter before or after each load
  • Clean the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped
  • Wash lint screen regularly as fabric softeners and dryer sheets can leave an invisible film in the screen
  • Contact MAXIM for dryer vent cleaning annually

What is the right kind of dryer vent tubing?

  • Replace plastic transition ducts (joining the dryer to the wall) with metal ductwork because it is non-flammable
  • Make sure the dryer duct is made of solid metallic material. Both vinyl and foil are combustible and spiral-wound surfaces that tend to catch lint more readily.

How does MAXIM clean dryer vents?

  • Cleaned from the outside using high pressure, compressed air tool
  • Compressed air tool blasts lint, debris and nests loose sending it to the outside and then caught in a special bag
  • Clean the complete vent run no matter where it exists — roof or side
  • Homes with extra long runs may need cleaning from the dryer inside to the outside vent hood flapper
  • No lint enters the dryer or residence

Can I do my own dryer vent cleaning?
Yes, you can; however, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have the time for dryer vent cleaning?
  • Cleaning a dryer vent takes a professional with appropriate equipment approximately a full hour to clean thoroughly
  • Do I have the right equipment?
  • Using the wrong equipment could potentially damage your venting and leave it unclean
  • Do I want to clean this mess up?
  • Could I do damage to my venting or dryer?
  • Again, using the wrong equipment could potentially damage your dryer and/or the venting on your dryer
  • Do I have the knowledge and experience to do this
  • Hiring MAXIM will ensure a proper and thorough cleaning of your dryer vent — GUARANTEED

Additional Information

  • Purchasing a new dryer will not eliminate the potential fire risks if the venting for your dryer is clogged with lint build-up
  • Dryer venting that is clogged with lint, paper particles, bird nests or other items is the primary and most significant fire hazard, which is why proper dryer vent cleaning is so essential
Dryer Ventilation Cleaning Tips

The following dryer ventilation cleaning tips have more information about how to properly maintain your dryer and venting to reduce the chances of fire or other hazards.

  • Make sure the vent length does not exceed the dryer manufacturer’s recommendations. Include elbows, transitions and outdoor hood assemblies in your measurement. If the vent exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendation, consider installing a booster fan.
  • Clean the lint trap after each use.
  • Do not place a nylon stocking or bug screen over the vent hood or other openings.
  • If you have a plastic, flexible duct, check it frequently for kinks. This type of duct is more apt to trap lint than ducts without ridges. You may want to replace it with a rigid or flexible metal duct.
  • It is preferable not to use soft flexible ducts for vent piping. These are typically plastic films or some foil material placed over wire coils.
  • Metal ducts will not burn if lint inside the duct catches fire.
  • Do not kink or crush the vent pipe or fittings to make up for a lack of room behind the dryer. Vent only to the outside-do not vent the dryer into an attic or crawl space.
  • Do not use the dryer for drying clothes or rags which have been used to absorb flammable liquids.