If your clothes are taking too long to dry or there’s a burning smell coming from the dryer, the dryer vent could be clogged. Air can’t flow freely, and the dryer needs to work harder which causes extra heat buildup. When you touch the dryer, the outside shell is hot during a working cycle. The clothes, however, are still damp after the drying cycle because the air couldn’t reach it. One method of clearing the vent and pipes is to use a leaf blower.
NOTE: Never use a gas leaf blower to clean the dryer vent. The dryer becomes a fire hazard with the heat build-up, and the lint stuck in the vent. Secondly, you don’t want toxic exhaust fumes released inside the house.
Preparing the Dryer Vent
Before starting the cleaning process, switch the dryer off and unplug it from the wall socket.
Gently pull the dryer away from the wall to access the vent behind the dryer.
Loosen the 3-4-inch clamp securing the vent hose to the dryer. If the screw is too tight, use a screwdriver to loosen the screw.
Remove the vent hose from the back of the dryer.
Instead of removing the vent hose, you can disconnect the vent from the dryer outlet. Remove any visible lint or debris collected the vent opening and the dryer outlet.
Cleaning the Cover Over The Vent
Go outside to remove the cover of the vent outlet.
Loosen the cover screws with a screwdriver. Place the screws with the cover to avoid losing them.
Check the cover vent for any lint or debris. Remove all lint and debris around the vent cover, outlet, and pipe exterior.
Use the leaf blower vacuum to clean the exterior before going back inside to clean the dryer vent pipe.
Cleaning the Dryer Vent Pipe with a Leaf Blower
The 15 feet long dryer-vent auger should release and loosen debris stuck deep in the pipe. Most vent pipes aren’t longer than 25 feet. Insert the auger from both openings, inside and outside.
Use the gutter cleaning kit or another attachment so that the nozzle of the leaf blower fits into the pipe if you don’t have the right size attachment, duct tape the nozzle of the leaf blower to the pipe to prevent air escaping while using the leaf blower.
Insert the nozzle of the electric or battery leaf blower into the end of the pipe.
Switch the leaf blower on and blow air into and through the pipe for a few minutes. Don’t let anyone stand close to the outlet. The lint and debris are pushed with force through the pipe to escape at the outlet.
Switch the leaf bower off and go outside to remove any lint or debris that remained in the mouth of the outlet. You can remove it by hand or vacuum.
Repeat until only air escapes through the outlet. Reassemble the cover, pipe, and vent. Push the dryer back to the wall.
Things To Look Out For When Using A Leaf Blower to Clean the Dryer Vent
If the vent pipe is too long the leaf blower may not blow strong enough to push the debris out of the pipe successfully. Then the lint may clog somewhere inside the pipe causing a greater blockage. To avoid this, insert a dryer-vent drill with the brush extension to loosen the debris before using the leaf blower. The drill hook can pull out whatever is causing the obstruction.
A leaf blower will work in a straight pipe but won’t blow strong enough through bent pipes or twisted pipes. Neither will it be able to remove lint that gathered in the folds of accordion style ducting.
Make sure there’s no metal screening covering the outlet vent. Lint will build-up behind the screen causing a fire hazard. Remove the screen before using the leaf blower.