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Dryer Vent Cleaning 101: What You Need To Know

When it comes to keeping our homes in tip-top shape, you might think we are referring to regular cleaning, routine maintenance, and the occasional renovations. You know, like how often you clean the dust bunnies from under your couch, if you fix that leaky bathroom sink in a timely manner, or when you finally decide to update the kitchen that looks like it was taken straight from your grandparents’ house. 

And yes – those things are important! However, there’s a lesser-known but equally important task that tends to be overlooked. That is dryer vent cleaning. 

Dryer vent fires are quite common – more common, in fact, than chimney fires. An average of 15,970 dryer vent fires occur annually, causing multiple deaths and hundreds of injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) urge homeowners to invest in routine dryer vent cleanings to help reduce those numbers.

At Ashbusters Chimney Service of Knoxville, we understand that maintaining your home’s safety and efficiency is a top priority. While we are well-known for our expertise in chimney services, we also offer comprehensive dryer vent cleaning solutions. With our meticulous dryer vent cleaning services, we not only eliminate the hidden fire hazards, but also enhance your dryer’s efficiency – saving you time and money in the long run. Trust Ashbusters Chimney Service to provide the care your home deserves, from your chimney to your dryer vent.

Give us a call today at 865-503-5498. You can also book with us online.

Lint Collected from Dryer Machine

What Causes Dryer Vent Fires?

Dryer vent cleanings are important because they eliminate the #1 cause of dryer vent fires – lint. 

Lint is highly flammable – that’s why the Boy Scouts of America use it as a fire starter. It can easily ignite as a result of the high heat used to dry your clothes. 

Another reason lint should be removed is because, as it builds up inside of your vent, it limits air flow. With limited airflow, your dryer can get overworked, needing more heat and more time than normal to dry a single load of laundry.

Is a Dryer Vent Cleaning Necessary?

Although dryer vent cleanings are often overlooked, there are several reasons why they should be a top priority for every homeowner. If there are on average almost 16,000 dryer vent fires every year, then that is almost 16,000 reasons why you should schedule one today. 

Other reasons include:

  • Safety First: One of the most critical reasons for dryer vent cleaning is fire safety. Lint is highly flammable, and when you combine a flammable substance with the high heat of your appliance, you have a recipe for disaster.
  • Energy Efficiency: A dryer vent allows proper airflow, which is essential for your dryer’s ability to run well. When lint builds up inside of your vent, it limits air flow, which then makes it harder to dry your clothes – that means multiple cycles and less efficiency.
  • Energy Savings: Added cycles due to lint buildup, blockages, and airflow restrictions can lead to higher gas or electric bills. That’s wasted money! With a clean vent, you’ll know your dryer is working quickly and efficiently to dry your laundry. No more running back downstairs or upstairs to start yet another dry cycle.
  • Appliance Longevity: Lint accumulation in the vent can cause more wear and tear, which can lead to costly repairs or having to replace your dryer sooner than expected. Regular cleaning of the dryer vent extends the life of it and better protects your investment.
  • Improved Air Quality: Lint buildup can affect indoor air quality because it can trap moisture, particulate matter, and potential allergens in the dryer vent system. As the vent becomes clogged, it may not expel moist air properly, creating a perfect breeding ground for mold.
  • Preventive Maintenance: When a dryer vent is clogged, the dryer is forced to work twice as hard to dry your clothes. This excessive strain can wear down crucial parts of the dryer. The best way to avoid costly repairs or even replacement is to keep up with regular preventive maintenance like dryer vent cleanings.
  • Carbon Monoxide Risk Reduction: Gas dryers produce carbon monoxide, which is a toxic gas that is undetectable using your senses. While gas dryers can be completely safe if well maintained, clogged up vents invite threats. Routine dryer vent cleanings and inspections will give you the peace of mind to use your gas dryer without worry.

When Should You Get Your Dryer Vent Cleaned?

It is recommended that you get your dryer vent cleaned on a regular basis. That means, at the bare minimum, you should schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning services at least once a year. 

Some telltale signs of a lint buildup are:

  • Clothes that are taking longer to dry.
  • Noticing a musty odor in your laundry area.
  • Finding excess lint around the dryer or vent exit.
  • Hot air or lint coming out of the vent outside.
  • Your appliance being hot to the touch.
Interior View of a Dryer Vent with lint

There are also several reasons why you might consider a more frequent dryer vent cleaning including:

  • Heavy Usage: Do you have a large household? If you use your dryer frequently, including washing large loads multiple times a day, you may need more frequent cleanings, as these situations can lead to faster lint buildup.
  • Family Pets: Pet hair is notorious for helping clog dryer vents. If you have pets in your home, it’s better to err on the side of caution and schedule dryer vent cleanings more frequently.
  • Frequent Buyer of New Clothes: Have you ever noticed how much lint collects in the lint trap the first few times that you wash new clothes? New clothes often shed loose fibers during their initial washes so although this is normal, it’s important to remember to empty the lint trap after every load of laundry.
  • Type of Laundry: Blankets, towels, and other bulky items tend to shed a significant amount of lint during each dryer cycle compared to a normal load of laundry.
  • Long Vent Configurations: Longer or more complex dryer vent configurations are more prone to clogging and buildup, as lint can get caught up a lot easier.
  • New Dryer Installation: When you have a new dryer installed, it is a good idea to have the dryer vent cleaned to ensure there are no construction debris or obstructions that will prevent your new dryer from functioning efficiently.

How Does Dryer Vent Cleaning Work? Is It Messy?

Dryer vent cleanings can be messy if they’re done by someone who is inexperienced or arrives ill-equipped – without the right tools. 

With Ashbusters Chimney Service of Knoxville, we prioritize cleanliness and thoroughness in every step of the process, so you won’t have to worry about a mess in your home. 

Here is what our process looks like:

  • Diagnostic Inspection: We start by moving the dryer away from the wall and performing a diagnostic inspection to check for proper function and airflow.
  • Powerful Vacuum System: Next, we attach a high-powered vacuum to the vent. This vacuum is designed to blow debris directly to an outside area that we have set up, preventing any mess inside your home.
  • Specialized Rods: Using flexible rods that rotate and spin, we safely navigate through your dryer vent system. Our advanced tools allow us to reach even the most hard-to-reach areas, ensuring all lint and debris is removed.
  • No Mess Left Behind: We take pride in our commitment to cleanliness. When we’re finished, you can rest assured that all lint and debris have been removed from your vent and carried away from your property. Our goal is to leave your home cleaner and safer than when we arrived.

Are There Any DIY Methods for Dryer Vent Cleaning?

Yes, there are a few different DIY dryer vent cleaning methods that you will find on the internet or in stores. This includes:

Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits

If you walk into any hardware store, you’ll likely find a dryer vent cleaning kit. These kits are designed to help remove lint build up and debris in your dryer with the help of a brush head and flexible rods that can be extended to reach the entirety of the dryer vent system.

The problem with these? If you don’t know what you’re doing, these can simply jam clogs in even tighter – especially if you have long and twisted runs. In addition, you could cause damage to the system if the tools are used incorrectly.

Shop Vacuum Dryer Vent Cleaning

Using a shop vacuum and the long hose attachment, you can effectively vacuum up any loose lint around the vent opening and dryer vent line. This DIY method is one way to remove surface lint and debris, improving airflow and reducing fire hazards. 

The problem with this method? This isn’t a good way of addressing blockages deep in the vent system, and they do not provide the same level of thorough cleaning as professional services.

Leaf Blower Dryer Vent Cleaning

Some homeowners use a leaf blower to clean their dryer vents. They stick the leaf blower in the end within the home in an effort to blow the lint and buildup out of the other end – and into the great outdoors.

The problem with this method? While we applaud the initiative, you need to be extremely careful because excessive air pressure from a leaf blower can actually damage the vent or blow lint further into the system, creating blockages. Without any kind of a brush mechanism, it is also hard for a leaf blower to effectively remove all of the lint and debris.

So… DIY or professional?

For a more comprehensive dryer vent cleaning – without the added stress of potential DIY mishaps that cause further damage and repair – give Ashbusters Chimney Service of Knoxville a call. We have the experience, tools, and knowledge to ensure a thorough cleaning, reduce fire hazards, and optimize your dryer’s performance.

Reach out now or book online today.

Who Does Dryer Vent Cleanings?

You should always have your dryer vent cleaned by a CSIA-Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician (CDET). That’s because anyone can call themselves a professional and advertise their services locally. However, hiring a CSIA- Certified Exhaust Technician means you are trusting your home and family to someone who has spent countless hours studying the proper techniques, safety protocols, and best practices for dryer vent cleaning and maintenance. 

A CDET will be able to alert you to any buildup, blockages, venting route issues, or code issues. For example, if your connector is plastic and not up to current code, or if an animal has begun building a nest in your vent. No matter what the issue may be, with a CDET, you can be confident that your dryer vent will be cleaned with the highest level of expertise and care while ensuring that your dryer system is safe and efficient for your home and family.

Give Ashbusters a call today, so our experts can help you out. You can also book with us online.

Why Hire Ashbusters?

Why do locals in the Knoxville area trust us time and time again?

  1. We have over 30 years of experience. With that many years in the chimney and venting business, there isn’t a whole lot we haven’t seen or tackled when it comes to chimney and dryer vent services. Our extensive expertise allows us to handle the most complex and unique cases with confidence and professionalism.
  2. We take education and certification seriously. Our continued growth is due to our commitment to education. We hold memberships with industry-leading associations and obtain certifications from the industry’s top educators. We continuously train and update our team to stay on top of new trends, and we make sure we are using the latest technology and techniques to provide our customers with the best possible service.
  3. We are licensed and insured. We hold all of the proper licensing and insurance to operate in and around the Knoxville area, providing you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re working with a reputable and responsible service provider. Our licensing goes to show our compliance with local regulations, while our insurance coverage protects both our team and you and your property in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  4. Our community loves us. Over the years, we have built a strong relationship with our customers. Your trust and satisfaction are the driving force behind our continued success. We value the loyalty of our customers, and their positive reviews serve as a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence in chimney and dryer vent maintenance.

Call Ashbusters Of Knoxville For Effective, Mess-Free Dryer Vent Cleaning Services Today

Have questions about dryer vent cleaning, when it’s needed, or why it’s necessary? Ready to schedule a dryer vent cleaning for your Knoxville area home? Instead of searching for dryer vent cleanings near me – and then having to comb through a list of options that Google provides – choose Ashbusters Chimney Service of Knoxville. We’re your trusted local experts, staffed with certified dryer exhaust technicians.

We look forward to continuing to provide you with the highest level of service and care for years to come. Call Ashbusters Chimney Service of Knoxville today at 865-412-2444 or request an appointment online.


Did you know you need to get a chimney sweeping at least once every year? Call on our chimney and dryer services expertise to discover what else you need to know to keep your chimney system in tip-top condition.