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.
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!
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.
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