How Much Does Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost?
Cleaning your dryer vents may sound like a chore to be put off until next spring; however, a neglected vent can have some surprisingly very serious consequences. When your dryer vents become clogged with dust, lint, and other debris, they can quickly catch fire. As your dryer runs, it emits excess heat through the ducts and out the vents. If airflow is restricted by flammable lint, it can catch fire before you even realize what’s happening! Nearly 3,000 fires per year are caused by dryers, resulting in a shocking $35 million in property loss.
Don’t risk your family’s safety by avoiding a fairly easy and inexpensive task. Instead, take a moment from time to time to clean out your dryer vents. And if your schedule is too busy, consider hiring a professional to get the job done for you! Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of having your dryer vents professionally cleaned or doing it yourself.
The Cost of Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Services
We know what you’re thinking: Cut to the chase. How much is this going to cost me?
Luckily, professional dryer cleaning typically costs between $101 and $176, with the average being only $138. That’s less than most people spend on a trip to the grocery store!
However, there are many factors that go into determining the final cost of services. Here are a few of the biggest considerations professionals take into account when giving you a fair and accurate quote:
- Vent Location
- The location of your dryer vent can have a big impact on cost. Most dryer vents are located directly outside of your laundry room and are easily accessible through the back or front yard. However, some dryer vents are located on the roof, making them more difficult to clean and harder to access. Therefore, you can expect the cost to rise if your vent is located in an atypical location.
- Vent Length and Type
- If you have a longer than normal or a wire-coil vent, then it could take additional time for a professional to thoroughly clean it. Likewise, a vent with several 90-degree turns can increase the time it takes to remove clogs or excessive lint build up. In both cases, the final cost may increase.
- Standard lint build up is the most common cause of clogs and reduced airflow. However, sometimes other substances can make their way into your ducts through outdoor vents and can take longer to remove. For example, bird nest removal can cost up to $250. If this becomes a recurring issue, then you might even want to consider having your dryer vent cleaning professional install a bird guard, which can cost between $30 and $100 on average.
- Package Deals
- Some cleaners may offer discounts if you combine dryer vent cleaning with other services or if you sign up for annual dryer vent maintenance. We highly recommend taking advantage of these discounts as it can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. On the other hand, you may decide to package your dryer vent cleaning with other services like having system monitors installed. Lint alert alarms are great tools to help you stay on top of routine dryer vent maintenance while providing an additional safeguard to protect your family. However, adding a service like this can cost between $170 and $250, so you might see a jump in your final bill.
- New Installation
- If you’ve neglected your dryer vents for too long, your professional cleaner might notice some damages and recommend installing a new system. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t disregard this advice even if it will cost you a few extra bucks. Damaged vents and ducts won’t function properly and can easily become a hazard to you, your family, and your home. Installation can cost between $200 and $500, making your cleaning bill much higher than expected.
- As with any other goods or services, the location of your home can play a significant role in determining costs. Keep in mind, cities and metropolitan areas usually have higher labor costs than rural areas and small towns. So, if you live in a big city or an area with a higher-than-normal cost of living, you can expect to pay a higher rate for dryer vent cleaning services.
As you can see, there are many factors that go into determining the final cost of dryer cleaning services. However, you can use the above list as a guide to estimate how close your final bill will come to the $138 average.
How Do I Know if My Dryer Vents and Ducts are Clogged?
A good rule of thumb is to have your dryer vents professionally cleaned once per year, with routine DIY cleanings every three months or so. This will maximize safety and significantly reduce the chances of a fire starting. Nevertheless, you should still regularly monitor your dryer’s performance to ensure there aren’t any clogs that need removal. Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Rising temperatures in your laundry room after drying clothes
- Air isn’t coming out of your dryer vent outside while your dryer is running
- The outside of your dryer unit becomes very hot during and after use
- Your energy bill is higher than normal
- Your clothes are taking longer to dry or require multiple cycles
- The lint trap is full after each use, even if you just dry a small load, or you don’t notice any lint on the lint trap, even after a full load
- You notice excessive lint collecting around the dryer vents and ducts
- You smell something burning while your dryer is running
- The outside cover to your dryer vent won’t open
Any of these instances should indicate to you that your dryer vent or duct is not functioning properly and should be checked immediately. A fire isn’t the only thing you should worry about either. Clogged vents can also cause toxic fumes, like carbon monoxide, to leak from your dryer and into your home. Furthermore, it can lead to overheating and electrical shortages, which can be extremely costly to fix. Mold can also begin to grow inside your vents if moisture is trapped. Plus, unwanted pests can make their way into your home if the outside vent is pushed open by excess lint. Avoid all of these potential scenarios by keeping a watchful eye on your dryer vents and ducts.
How to DIY – A Step by Step Guide
While calling a professional is the safest and easiest way to maintain your dryer vents, you can always consider tackling this home maintenance chore on your own if you’re looking to save some cash. Always use caution and care when performing a task like this on your own. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of your dryer unit before attempting this DIY project. But, if you’re ready to get down and dirty, gather the following tools before you get started:
- Screwdriver Set
- Hand Brush
- Damp rag or mop
- Dryer vent cleaning kit
- Electric Powered Drill
- Ladder or step stool
- Foil tape (for sealing any small leaks)
Once you’ve gathered your materials, follow these simple steps to safely and effectively clean out your dryer vents and ducts:
1. Unplug the dryer unit and disconnect the vent
First and foremost, the dryer must be turned off and unplugged before you begin working. Likewise, if your dryer runs on gas, you should shut off the supply valve. You’ll want to move your dryer to a position where the vent is easily accessible. Finally, disconnect the vent from both the dryer and the wall by removing the band clamp that holds it in place.
2. Clean out the vent
Once everything is disconnected, take the vent and tube outside and shake everything out into a trash bag. This will quickly remove any large clumps of lint or debris. You can use your vacuum and a large brush to suck out any stubborn clumps. While outside, vacuum the external vent and vent cover.
3. Clean any attachment points
Back inside, vacuum out the vent from the wall side and dryer side. Use your brush to remove any stubborn clumps here as well. Be sure to clean around the vents and back of the dryer to reduce the number of particles in the laundry room – this will save you time later.
4. Clean the lint screen
You should already clean your lint screen in between each dryer cycle; however, take some time to do this again while you’re doing a deep clean. If it’s hard to remove all the lint, you should consider replacing the screen entirely.
5. Check for issues
While everything is disconnected, take some time to inspect all parts of your dryer. If anything looks worn or damaged, you should consider buying a replacement or calling in a handyman to take a look. Being proactive can save you time, stress, and money in the long run.
6. Put everything back together
Now that everything is clean, you just need to put everything back together.
Reattach your dryer duct to the wall and the dryer, using the band clamp to secure it. Apply some foil tape to seal both sides and prevent leakage. Move your dryer back to its original home and plug it back in. Turn the gas supply back on if it was turned off. Make sure the dryer vent hose isn’t twisted or kinked anywhere. Too many turns in the hose can cause overheating and further lint build up.
7. Test it out
Run a short cycle to make sure your dryer is functioning properly. Make sure nothing seems to be leaking and the exterior vent is pushing out hot air. If anything seems to be malfunctioning, double check your work and call a professional if necessary!
Ultimately, dryer vent cleaning doesn’t have to take a ton of time or energy. Calling a professional is the best way to ensure a properly functioning dryer that isn’t a safety hazard to you or your family. Don’t take unnecessary risks – have your vents cleaned today!