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Dryer vent vs. Duct Cleaning

Dryer vent vs. Duct Cleaning October 22, 2023

There is a list of things to do when it comes to home maintenance such as dryer vent cleaning and duct cleaning. Often, homeowners interchangeably use dryer duct cleaning and HVAC duct cleaning. However, both of these cleaning methods are different and serve an entirely different purpose.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Often, the dryer vent duct will lead outside of the house, and it is extremely important. As the laundry dryer runs, hot air blows out of this duct. Dryer duct cleaning is crucial to home safety. It helps remove hot air and debris that could block your ductwork and lead to a fire. You must remember it to avoid any serious fire incidents in your home.

You clean your dryer vent from the bottom of the duct to the outside of your house where the vent exits. All flammable lint and debris will be removed during this cleaning. The dry vent line should be cleaned about once a year.

Air Duct Cleaning

The key difference between air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning is that in air duct cleaning, the ductwork of your HVAC system is thoroughly cleaned while dryer vent cleaning involves eliminating dust and lint from the dryer vent duct. In air duct cleaning, duct cleaning services clean the vent, duct, and all the HVAC system parts. If there’s a lot of ductwork and a big house, it might take a while. You’ll get better breathing air when you do this cleaning because it eliminates allergens and debris. Cleaning your AC and ducts every 5–10 years is a good idea.

Keep Dryer Vents & Air Ducts Clean


Indoor air quality depends on how clean the air ducts are. Dirty ducts can recirculate contaminated air and trigger respiratory issues in dwellers. Furthermore, a dryer vent clogged with debris and lint can lead to a perilous fire incident. Having lint-filled dryer vents is a common cause of home fires. 


In addition to respiratory issues triggered by dusty air, mold growth inside your air duct can be detrimental to your health. Contaminated indoor air tops the chart when it comes to environmental health concerns. Regular duct cleaning ensures that you have clean air to breathe in.

Pleasant Smell after Duct cleaning

When dust and debris combine with moisture, they give off a bad smell. When you enter a relatively old building, do you notice a weird, musty smell? If you haven’t, do notice it the next time you go to an old building. This musty smell is the result of long-due  duct cleaning. Delaying AC duct cleaning only results in mold growth or dust and debris inside the ductwork. The musty smell is an indication of the presence of mold inside the ductwork. Regular air duct cleaning can save you from this musty smell!

Heavy on Your Wallet

Just like any other electronic appliance, using air ducts and dryer vents for an extended period without dryer duct cleaning or HVAC duct cleaning can result in wear and tear on both systems. In the end, it’ll be you who has to pay a humungous sum of money for the repairs. In addition to that, dirty ducts and dryer vents can end up impacting your system’s efficiency and consequently resulting in high energy bills.

The Guidelines for Cleaning and Repairing Dryer Vent

Avoid these:

Screens and Cages

Many homeowners believe pest cages or screens keep pests out of vents. However, you should avoid pest cages or screens because they allow lint to accumulate, which reduces efficiency and puts you in danger of catching a fire. It’s easy for lint to ignite in a fire, so it’s easy to spread.

Duct Tape

There are a lot of uses for duct tape, but connecting parts of the dryer vent isn’t one of them. Duct tape’s adhesive dries out eventually, and this allows cracks to form in the joints.

PVC Piping and Other Plastics

PVC pipes and plastic vents are made to collect lint and retain water vapor, which creates sludge that can clog systems. As a result, cleaning becomes harder, and fire risks go up.

Screws and Bolts

Using screws and bolts to secure vent connections may seem basic, but doing so can be risky since they can gather lint, increasing the likelihood of a fire. Any item that facilitates lint buildup should be avoided during AC vent cleaning.

Vinyl and Foil

They’re easy to get, cheap, and easy to work with, but they’re not safe. The flexible nature of these pipes makes them easy to crush, kink, or otherwise damage. Furthermore, slinky materials trap lint, increasing the risk of fire incidents.

What Not To Do:

Keep an Eye Out For Trouble

Remember that vents must be directed outdoors. Vents that end indoors can have serious consequences. Vents may collect moisture if they end up indoors. It’s a given fact that mold thrives in a moist environment, so if you are providing mold with the desirable conditions to grow, it’s you who is going to suffer. Mold can pose health problems and/or necessitate costly remediation methods.

Do Not Block or Cover Indoor Vents

Staying vigilant about your dryer vent system performance can save money on repairs and prevent hazardous fire incidents. Keep an eye out for signs that your dryer vent is blocked, obstructed, or not working. When left unchecked and untreated, a compromised vent can cause fires. Here are some common signs:

  • Waiting too long for it to dry
  • A burning smell (since clogged dryers have to work harder than usual, which causes them to work too hard and produce that smell).
  • There’s a high temperature externally (from overworking the dryer), and a lot of lint has accumulated.

Is It Expensive To Clean Dryer Vents?

Unlike other HVAC cleaning services, dryer vent cleaning tends to have less variation in pricing. It’s usually lint buildup that needs to be removed, so duct cleaning services use the same tools or procedures every time. But certain things impact AC vent cleaning prices. Your dryer vent will cost more if it’s difficult to reach or up on the roof because that involves more risk and liability. Longer vent lines or multiple turns may also cost more.

AC Duct Cleaning: WHAT HAPPENS?

Having a clear understanding of the duct cleaning process and the ac vent cleaning process is useful when duct cleaning services come to your house. You’ll be able to ask the professionals about the tools and processes they use to ensure your system’s safety.

You can learn about the standard cleaning methods of the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) from reputable duct cleaners.

Cleaning ductwork, filters, plenums, registers, air handlers, and evaporator coils—just about any part of a forced-air HVAC system-can be accomplished following these procedures. The methods employed by authorized contractors are referred to by NADCA as source-removal techniques, and they involve manually cleaning the ducts and using compressed air equipment, while dust and debris that has become dislodged are removed using a vacuum collecting system.

Inspect the Air Duct

Cameras will probably be used by duct cleaning companies to see how much buildup is in the ducts before cleaning. Furthermore, a detailed inspection of the air duct will allow the professional to look for any leakages in the ducts. Many duct cleaning services are kind enough to help you restore damaged ductwork.

Build a Negative Pressure

Your ducts are cleaned with vacuums that collect dust and debris from your ductwork. Technicians should, however, take a few precautions before starting suction and ac duct cleaning.

The lengthy vacuum collecting unit hose must first be connected to a duct close to the air handler, the central component of your HVAC system. In essence, the technician will cut an access hole in the duct, attach the vacuum hose, and seal the intersection as tightly as possible.

It is important to clean the supply and return sides separately, as both sides are different. An adhesive cover can then be used to secure each register. The registers in every room of the house need to be sealed up, or even the most efficient vacuum collection system won’t work.

Once the technician’s done, he’ll turn on the vacuum. By brushing or blowing loose particles, this phase creates negative pressure and sucks them into the collection system.

Move the Dust

Under negative pressure, the technician can clean each register separately. The method of blasting an air compressor and spritzing disinfectant, used by unqualified technicians, is largely ineffective and typically blows dust back into the room. It takes spinning brushes, compressed air equipment, and simple vacuum cleaners to dislodge dust and get it into the vacuum collection system.

Restoring the System

Other parts of the HVAC system need cleaning too, like the air handler’s blower motor and evaporator coil. Keeping these parts clean, along with cleaning or replacing the filter, will improve the air you breathe and extend your HVAC’s life.

Why Do You Need Dryer Duct Cleaning?

Many reasons call for proper AC vent cleaning. The following are the reasons;

Prevents Fires

Dryers collect lint, but did you know that dryer vents do too? When large amounts of lint build up in your dryer vent, the heat will likely ignite the lint. It doesn’t take long for this fire to spread. Lint accumulation and a fire caused by lint can be reduced by regularly cleaning your dryer vents.

Drying Faster

When your dryer is clogged or dirty, it takes a long time to work. Your clothes will dry faster if you clean your dryer vent regularly. You’ll probably have to run the dryer two or three times if it’s clogged, so time can be wasted. Cleaning your dryer vent can save you a lot of time.

More Efficiency

Without regular cleaning, dirt can build up inside your dryer. You don’t get a proper drying result when you have dirt in your dryer vent. They might need to be re-dried.

You’ll get better performance out of your dryer after cleaning the vent, and it’ll work more efficiently. Your dryer will work better if you clean the lint trap after every load and the vent once a month.

Avoids Clogging

Clogged dryer vents lead to all kinds of problems. Lint clogs up and starts a fire. When dust and dirt get clogged, performance goes down. If you want to keep your dryer vents clean, clean them before they get clogged. In addition to preventing any potential harm, it is also necessary for efficiency.

Saves Energy

The problems of dirty vents don’t end with reduced system efficiency and fire risks. Clogged vents consume excessive energy. To meet the expected performance level, the dryer works extra hard, consuming more energy. You’ll pay more for the dryer because it uses more electricity. This is why you need dryer duct and AC vent cleaning which will maximize your dryer’s performance, preserve energy, and lower your energy bills.

Carbon Monoxide Poison Prevention

The gas carbon monoxide can suffocate you. It’s even worse because it has no color or smell. There’s no way to tell if it’s being released. Your dryer vent can only prevent this emission if you clean it; otherwise, it might start leaking.

How Do I Clean My Dryer Vents?

Yes, sometimes. You can clean your dryer vent yourself if your ducts are under 6 feet long and straight. You can do it yourself if your dryer is directly connected to an outside wall. It’s easy to clean since there’s not much ductwork.

Invest in a lint cleaning kit. Vacuum hoses won’t catch buildup well, and leaf blowers should never be used. You can damage your ducts by using leaf blowers, too. Simply put, they weren’t designed to clean ducts. In the end, if your ducts are new or recently cleaned, you can do it yourself. The buildup should be minimal, so cleaning it should be easy.

Do I Need Professional Duct Cleaning Services?

If you’re uncertain about anything, it’s best to hire a pro. Occasionally, however, hiring is a better option than doing it yourself.

Don’t DIY a dryer vent that has elbows. There’s no comparison between home lint cleaning kits and professional equipment. You don’t want DIY equipment to get stuck or break in your ductwork.

The ducts in your home may be longer than six feet. It’s not going to get all the way through, so DIY kits can make things worse. For large amounts of buildup, professional equipment is better. Also, it’s longer and stronger, so it can get to any clogged spots in your ductwork.

DIY Dry Vent Cleaning Vs. Professional Vent Cleaning

It’s easy to do a DIY project in a few situations. It might be easy enough for a DIY kit if your vent comes out of the side of your house with no bends. Another situation is a short line coming out of your house.

In other situations, DIY vent cleaning could be difficult for a few reasons:

  • A two-story house usually has a rooftop vent. Despite the right gear, it can still be dangerous.
  • You’ve got long vents, winding vents, or both. There are many bends between the dryer and the vent, so cleaning it isn’t easy.
  • Some DIY kits, especially those that are less expensive, can harm the system. The brush often gets stuck in the vents.

You might not be as lucky as some people who can clean their vents quickly. The more lint you push together, the more likely you are to get a stuck brush. 

Safety Facts on Clothes Dryers

Home fires are caused by clogged dryer vents. Keep yourself and your family safe with these dryer fire safety facts.

  • Make sure you get an experienced technician to do the installation.
  • Dryers shouldn’t be overloaded.
  • Inspection and cleaning of dryer vents are essential.
  • Make sure the pipes and hoses are protected from rain, snow, and debris with covers.
  • Whenever you use a dryer, read the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Professionals should connect and wire everything.
  • Keep an eye out for bird nests, burrows of small animals, and insects.
  • Always replace damaged filters in clothes dryers, and never use dryers without lint filters.
  • You should clean your machine’s back after every load, and remember to clean the lint screen and filters.
  • Use the dryer only if you are home.

Final Thoughts

Air ducts cleaning and AC vent cleaning both secure an important spot when we talk about home maintenance. Maintaining indoor air quality requires regular duct cleaning whereas regular ac vent cleaning helps protect your dryer from malfunctioning. In addition to that, cleaning the dryer vent means that you’re eliminating lint accumulation timely and preventing any fire incidents that may occur and harm your family and property.

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