DIY VS Professional Cleaning

Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional

Cleaning your dryer vents is one of those things all homeowners need to have done regularly. It’s like an oil change, only less frequently needed. Some of us will opt to have the professionals take care of it, while others will take a DIY approach. Both have benefits and drawbacks, and with this article, we’ll help you come to your own conclusion.

What are DIY Vent Cleaning Kits and Do They Work?

When all is said and done, you shouldn’t have any issues with most DIY kits on the market. However, before you decide to buy one, there are a few downsides you need to know about.

A dryer cleaning kit will come with long, flexible rods that connect to a brush on one end and a power drill on the other. You connect the brush to one of the rod, insert the combination into your dryer vent, and add as many rods as needed in order to clean the entirety of the vent line. Once the brush is in place, you attach your drill, and the brush spins rapidly to clean the lint buildup inside the vent.

Amazon Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit

Sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? The downside to the DIY option is that it’s risky to use these kits through bends in your dryer’s vent line. As your brush is spinning away at the lint and you’re pulling the rod out, sometimes the rod will snap, leaving the brush deep inside the vent.

Another common weak point is where the rods connect to each other. Sometimes they’ll separate while you’ve got your drill spinning and you won’t be able to reach far enough inside the vent to get them out.

Now instead of a dryer vent full of flammable lint, you’ve got a vent full of lint and the DIY cleaning kit you just bought. I’ve heard horror stories of couples who bought a cleaning kit, got it stuck, then bought another kit to get the first one out, only to have that one get stuck as well!

When they called a pro, he couldn’t guarantee he’d be able to get all the pieces out. Fortunately, the professional was able to clear the line, and they weren’t forced to disassemble the dryer vent or cut out drywall to get it done.

Another thing to consider is what happens when the plastic rods don’t quite reach the end of the vent line. You’ll end up pushing extra lint into a large ball near the end of the line, introducing an even greater fire hazard. It’s easy to underestimate how long your dryer vent is, since each bend adds a substantial amount to the total length.

Using a DIY Vent Cleaning Kit Can Damage Your Vent

Depending on the kit you buy, the bristles on the brush can be sharp enough to puncture the vent duct. This is often a hazard if the duct is flexible, since you’ll need to apply pressure to make it through the elbow-bends of your vent line.

If you cause damage while using a DIY cleaning kit, you’ll end up with a punctured duct that won’t work as well as it did before. In fact, the hole will allow the hot and humid air from your dryer to enter the laundry room or walls, which can lead to mold growth. Dryer lint can start building up in the room, causing a potential fire hazard in your home.

Should I Get a DIY Kit?

With all that being said, there are some instances when it makes sense to clean the vent with a DIY kit.

● The vent line is straight.
● The vent line is less than 7 feet in length.

If your vent line has any angles or bends and is longer than 6 or 7 feet, you can save yourself a potential headache and time it takes to clean by hiring a professional to get the job done.

My Neighbor Used a Leaf Blower!

leaf blower dryer vent

Using a leaf blower to clear a dryer vent is extremely risky.  You are forcing 200 mph of air through a 4″ thin aluminum vent.  Dryer vents were not made for this type of velocity and can rip or separate in your walls, crawlspace, and attic.  Now you have a construction project on your hands.  If you are successful you will have just blown lint all over your property.  Dead skin and lint everywhere!  Yum!  Please do not use a leaf blower to clear a vent.  If you insist on trying a DIY method, contact us first and we will be more than happy to walk you through a safer method.

Why Hiring a Professional is Better Than DIY Kits

Instead of using a cheap vent cleaning kit that could make everything worse, us professionals at Vent Busters in Greensboro have a few different tools for making sure the lint buildup is removed from your dryer vent.

Vacuum & Brushes

Our vacuums have three independent motors and five different methods of air filtration. They will contain any lint coming out of the wall and will not create dust in the home. A normal shop vac doesn’t come close.

We assist the vacuum by running a set of brushes through the entire length of the dryer duct. Our rods are commercial quality and will bend around any turns or obstacles without breaking. We have dozens of brushes and attachments that can be used to knock out any obstacles from large buildups to nesting and rodent issues.

Air Compressor

Sometimes the buildup is so bad or the turns in the pipe will not allow our brushes and vacuum to do the trick. In these cases, we may run compressed air through the pipe knocking away any obstructions. Our air compressors are not your typical residential machines. We carry a large gas powered air compressor powered by a 5 HP Honda engine. These compressors are rated at 200 PSI and can take care of any blockage.

Problems & Repairs

We have been in front of hundreds of dryer vents.  The professional knows what to look for when inspecting a dryer vent.  If the vent needs repairs or correction we carry the materials and knowledge to get the job done during our cleaning visit.  We can even take apart your dryer and clean or fix that as well!

Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repair in Greensboro

When’s the last time you had your vents cleaned? Want to improve the efficiency of your dryer? Schedule an appointment with Vent Busters today by clicking the button below! You can always give us a call @ 336-899-8001

Long Dry Times

What’s Wrong With My Dryer?
Why is it taking a long time to dry?

It happens to the best of us here in Greensboro. You’re halfway through a load of laundry and notice the dryer is taking its sweet time. You open the door to find damp clothes sticking to the sides of the drum.

Now the whole operation is backed up! You can handle having to resort to the clothes-line-and-pin technique, but while we’re waiting, let’s figure out what’s wrong with your dryer.

Does it heat up at all?

If the dryer isn’t heating up at all, the problem is most likely a defective part. If the dryer is heating up, but not enough to dry your clothes, it’s probably an airflow issue. Worst case scenario— your dryer needs to be replaced entirely.

If your dryer runs on electricity, it’s possible the dryer isn’t receiving adequate voltage. You can check this off your list of potential problems in three easy steps.

  1. Double check to see if your dryer is plugged in completely.
  2. Open the circuit breaker panel and take a look. Make sure the proper circuit breakers are switched on.
  3. Lastly, make sure there aren’t any blown fuses.

If the dryer runs on gas, make sure there are no kinks in the line and the valve is turned on.

Hopefully, something simple like this is the reason why your dryer isn’t working properly, although if it’s an electrical problem, it’s more likely that the dryer wouldn’t turn on at all.  Nevertheless, give it a check to rule it out.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, it could also be the heating element, the thermal fuse, thermostat, or the timer motor that’s causing the issue. Inspecting any of these will require the dryer cabinet to be opened up and testing the components with a multimeter.

Unfortunately, almost all dryer parts cannot be repaired. They’ll need to be replaced. It’s usually best to call a specialist for this, unless you understand what needs to be done and how to do it safely. Before you break out your credit card, let’s look at airflow issues.

How long has it been since your dryer vents were cleaned?

On the simple side of things, you might’ve forgotten to clean the lint trap. If the screen is clean, consider the last time you had your vents cleaned by a technician.

Dirty vents typically result in a dryer that takes all day to do what usually takes an hour. This costs extra time and money, and what’s worse, it puts your entire household at a greater risk of a house fire from all the lint that builds up.

According to The National Fire Protection Association, in 2010 almost 17,000 home fires involved dryers or washing machines, resulting in nearly 400 injuries, more than 50 deaths, and millions of dollars in property damage. The leading cause among dryer fires was recorded as “failure to clean”

Lint will build up inside dryer vents over time and force your dryer to work extra hard to do its job. Since lint is extremely flammable, if enough builds up in the vents, it could ignite. Some warning signs that it’s time to have your vents clean are:

  • It takes multiple cycles to dry your clothes
  • The room or the dryer itself is warmer than usual
  • There’s a musty smell near the dryer or on your clothes
  • There’s a burning smell
  • You can’t recall the last time they were cleaned

What To Do?

If anything on the list above stands out, call us for an appointment. We’ll make sure your dryer vent receives the following:

  • Preparation: We make sure the vent is secured and taped before we start any cleaning.
  • Vacuum and Brushes: We use a vacuum specifically designed for lint removal and run brushes along the entire length of the dryer duct.
  • Air Compression: If there are any stubborn obstructions, we take care of them with a high-powered air compressor.
  • Cleanup: We leave your laundry room cleaner than we found it.

Prevention costs a fraction of what repairs do.

The inner workings of your home are typically out of sight and out of mind, which makes a lot of sense. If your focus was on what’s behind your walls, what’s draining your sinks, or what’s clearing your dryer, you’d be surrounded by systems that are failing inside your own home.

When everything is running smoothly, it requires minimal effort to keep it that way. It’s only when something jumps out of line that you’re forced to dedicate your time to it until it’s back in its place. The easiest way to keep maintenance to a minimum is to keep a regular maintenance schedule. This allows your dryer to do what it does best while you keep your sites on what matters most— life.

Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repair in Greensboro

Has it been over a year since your last dryer vent cleaning or just want to improve the efficiency of your clothes dryer?  Get in touch with Vent Busters or give us a call @ 336-899-8001.

Clogged Vent Warning Signs

A dryer vent cleaning can help improve efficiency, effectiveness, and operation of your Greensboro dryer system.  Most homeowners are unsure when it is time to have a cleaning done or that the service exists at all.  Our team at Vent Busters would like to share some of the common warning signs that it is time to schedule a dryer vent cleaning.

Warning Signs You Need Dryer Vent Cleaning

The warning signs that a dryer vent is in need of cleaning are pretty cut and dry.  Keep an eye out for the following issues to determine if you need to schedule a dryer vent cleaning.

  • Multiple Cycles to Dry Clothes. When a dryer vent is clogged, the dryer cannot exhaust properly.  This causes hot moist air to back up in the dryer and lowers its efficiency quite a bit.  If you find it is taking multiple cycles to complete a load of laundry it is time to give Vent Busters a call.
  • Clothing Smells Musty and Damp. When the dryer’s exhaust backs up into the dryer the moisture lingers in the piping and can create stale odors that transfer onto your clothing!  This can lead to mold and mildew and not something you want to mix with your laundry.
  • The Outside of the Dryer is Hot. If you touch the top or side of your dryer and it is unusually hot or warm it is due to the dryer vent being clogged.  If a clothes dryer cannot exhaust properly it will overheat and eventually cause a malfunction with the dryer, leading to a costly repair!
  • There is a Burning Smell.  If you smell any type of burning coming from your dryer this is an indication that lint may be so clogged it is backing up into the dryer and starting to touch the heating element.  If you smell something like rubber or cotton burning you should stop using the dryer immediately and call us.  This is a warning sign that there is a fire hazard and needs to be taken care of ASAP.

Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repair in Greensboro

Are you experiencing any of the warning signs we listed or just want to improve the efficiency of your clothes dryer?  Get in touch with Vent Busters or give us a call @ 336-899-8001.