If your previously efficient dryer is suddenly taking longer to dry clothes or you often find a burning smell coming out of your dryer, it may be because of a clogged dryer. There are various ways to unclog a dryer vent, use of a dryer cleaning kit being the most popular one. However, if you can not afford a kit, a leaf blower can be the rescuer. Yes, you read it right!
You might be wrong if you think a leaf blower only works on the leaves and is useless for the rest of the year. We have discovered that a leaf blower is a multipurpose tool that can perform a variety of tasks ranging from snow blowing to cleaning dryer vents. If you are still wondering how to clean a dryer vent with a leaf blower, read on to discover!
Firstly, prepare the dryer for cleaning by dragging it away from the wall. Now open the cover of the vent, clean the opening of the vent and hose outlet. Insert the leaf blower, turn it on, and give a few short blasts. Leave it running for 30 seconds.
What clogs a dryer vent?
A major contributor to clogging a dryer vent is the lint that successfully escapes the lint trap. Now, what is lint?
The fabric of our clothes consists of many short fibers bundled together. During washing and drying, some of these fibers get detached from the clothes. This is called a lint. Though dryers have special traps for lint, some of it escapes and gets stuck in the vent.
How to use a leaf blower to clean the dryer vent?
Step 1: Prepare the Dryer Vent
Before you start the process, make sure that the dryer is switched off and is unplugged from the socket.
To gain access to the dryer vent, drag the dryer away from the wall so that you can easily work behind it.
Now loosen the 3-4 inches clamp that is attached to the hose of the dryer vent. If it is too tight, use a screwdriver.
Note: Instead of removing the hose of the dryer, you can detach the vent from the dryer. Remove the dirt and debris from the dryer outlet and vent opening.
Step 2: Remove the cover of the vent
In this step, you need to remove the cover of the external vent. Mostly, the cover is screwed, so you can easily remove it using a screwdriver.
It would allow air to escape from the vent, otherwise, the air blowing through the pipe will put too much pressure on the tubes which can damage your dryer or leaf blower.
Step 3: Clean the external area
As now you have removed the cover, you have a chance to manually clean the vent as well using a brush or a vacuum cleaner. It removes the lint accumulated around the cover.
Step 4: Insert the leaf blower
Once you have done all the preparations, its time for the main step. Get your leaf blower and place its end the dryer vent.
A gas leaf blower can work well but make sure you do not operate it in the highest setting. A backpack leaf blower is not a good idea for it takes a lot of space. Cordless electric leaf blower is a more convenient option.
Once you have inserted the leaf blower, seal the sides so that air can not escape and higher pressure is built. You can use a duct tape, towel, or any cloth. If you do not have any of these, tightly put your hand around the vent so that no air can escape.
Step 5: Turn on the leaf blower
Now its time to turn on the blower and do the cleaning. It is always a good idea to give a few short blasts in the starts and then leave it running for 30 seconds to one minute.
After that, inspect the outside of the vent to make sure that the lint has come out. Clean the external vent again.
Step 6: Reassembling
The vent is clean and you have to put everything back now. Remove the leaf blower, screw back the cover, put the vent back into the dryer, and screw the clump. Clean the area well.
If you still have any queries, watch this video to get a better idea:
What can happen if you do not clean the lint from a dryer vent?
Removing lint from the dryer vent and unclogging it is necessary for the efficient working of a dryer. If it is not removed, it will reduce the flow of air which will either not completely dry the clothes or will take longer to dry them.
Lint is highly inflammable which is another major reason to clean the dryer vent regularly. It is so inflammable that hikers often carry it with them to light a campfire. Some reports highlight that lint is a cause of a significant number of house fires in the US.
Is it safe to use a leaf blower for cleaning dryer vent?
It is often debated whether leaf blower is the right choice for cleaning dryer vent or not. This is because as the lint is highly inflammable, the air from the leaf blower can heat the lint and start a fire.
To avoid such a situation, make sure that:
Your leaf blower is strong enough to expel the lint within 30 seconds (so the air is trapped in the vent for lesser time, thus lesser chances of fire)
- The pipe (vent) is not so long.
- The pipe is straight.
- The pipe is a non-concertina style. A concertina style pipe has folds in which lint gets stuck and can not be removed with a leaf blower.
If your vent does not meet these conditions, it is suggested that you use a proper dryer vent cleaning kit or call a profession.
Cleaning a dryer vent with a leaf blower is an effective and economical way. However, to make full use of it, make sure to completely understand your dryer vent and the procedure.
Find out about the best time to buy a leaf blower and get hold of this versatile tool!