How to Clean Dryer Vent From Outside


Dryer vents become clogged with lint over time, slowing the drying process and posing a fire hazard. Therefore, clearing out your dryer vent is always recommended for safety.

The most efficient way to clean your dryer vent is from the outside. That way, all lint will be blown away and won’t affect indoor air quality.

Find the Vent

Dryer vents, called exhaust ducts, send airborne water vapor out of the dryer and your home. During a regular drying cycle, up to one gallon of water can be drawn out as water vapor from clothing.

To prevent moisture from condensing inside the pipe, ensure your dryer vent pipe is adequately insulated. Insulated vent pipes will reduce condensation on the inside of the duct, leading to lower energy consumption and improved dryer performance.

Most dryer manufacturers recommend that the vent be made of smooth metal tubing. This pipe should have a minimum diameter of 4 inches and extend for up to 10 feet in length.

Before you begin pulling the pipe away from the wall, unplug the dryer and remove any metal tape or clamps attaching it to its exhaust. After doing so, pull it away from the wall and inspect for any clumps of wet lint.

Unplug the Dryer

Unplugging your dryer is an efficient way to save money on electricity. It’s especially beneficial if you have a high-efficiency appliance.

Besides, it’s a great way to ensure your dryer runs efficiently and prevent lint buildup from clogging the vent. A blocked duct poses a fire hazard and can damage clothes.

To start the unplugging process, locate your dryer and identify its vent. Remove the hose clamp at its end and move the dryer away from that connection as far as possible without harming its relationship if it is connected to a wall duct.

If your dryer uses a soft foil-style vent to connect to the duct, upgrade to something more sturdy, like a 90-degree aluminum elbow for fire-resistant protection.

You may need to wear gloves, goggles, or a mask during unplugging to protect your hands and face from dust and lint. Nevertheless, it’s an easy job that anyone can perform independently.

Vacuum the Outside

Lint and debris in your dryer vent can make it difficult for moisture to escape, increasing energy usage while drying clothes. Furthermore, clogged vents may even cause fires if left unclean; hence why regular cleaning of this area is essential.

First, you’ll need a vacuum with an extended hose attachment. We recommend getting one HEPA rated, as this is the most efficient way to eliminate dirt and lint.

With your attached vacuum attachment, vacuum the inside hole where your duct passes through and around the wall. This will give you a better view inside and help remove lint trappings.

Next, use a brush with the same size nozzle as your vacuum cleaner’s nozzle to remove any larger lint particles from your ductwork. This is the most important job that can be done yourself; therefore, giving it at least one trial run is wise to see how well it works.

Remove the Screen

Maintaining your dryer is essential to prevent lint buildup and restrict airflow – this could lead to a fire hazard if left unchecked.

The ductwork that transports hot air from the dryer to an exterior wall is typically constructed of metal pipes. Most dryers feature a 4-inch exhaust pipe at the rear that connects directly to this ductwork system through an aluminum elbow.

Mice and other rodents frequently make their way into dryer vents, where they can cause extensive damage and unpleasant odors in your home. Furthermore, droppings, nesting materials, and food crumbs often accumulate within the ductwork.

The ideal method is to remove the screen to keep your dryer duct clean. However, if this isn’t feasible, other methods are available for maintaining lint out of your vent.