How often do vents need cleaning? The stronger a dryer vent blows, the less likely lint will build up in the vent. Smaller vents blow better than large vents. Full size dryers blow better than smaller stack dryers or older dryer units. Vents with a lot of turns and elbows blow worse and build up more lint particles. Very short vents connected to full size dryers may never need cleaning! Yet the majority of vents need cleaning every two to three years, depending on the layout and dimensions of the vents.
Are dirty vents a fire hazard? A plugged vent will certainly cause a dryer to run hotter and increase the chance that something may ignite. A dirty vent, however, is only one small ingredient in a recipe for a potential fire. Other causes include: thermostat failure and limit switches in the dryer unit, lint particles within the dryer, a missing or damaged lint screen, and a punctured hose behind the dryer. Some of our competitors use “scare tactics” and reprint newspaper articles about devastating fires caused by dryers. Even though fire hazards may be exaggerated by our competition, many fire departments and insurance companies do require that dryer vents be inspected and cleaned regularly.
What can be done to keep birds out?
Bird Problems in Dryer Vents:
Any device to keep birds out can also become clogged with lint particles. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the best rule for dryer vents with no previous bird issues. If your vents are attracting birds, we highly recommend a three-stage approach to solve the problem:
Stage 1: Install Deflecto (brand) louvered vent cover. It is very durable. Flaps stay shut.
Stage 2: Install Deflecto bird resistant vent cover. It has a bar between each flap. But difficult to see if bars become clogged.
Stage 3: Install Deflecto Universal Bird Guard over the vent cover. The large plastic cage may or may not self-clean in wind and rain but it is easy to remove and clean if it is plugged.
The majority of vent covers come in brown or white and are able to be painted.
Bird Problems in Other Vents:
We recommend that all other vents, (kitchen fans, bathroom fans, etc.) be screened with hardware cloth to keep birds out.
Vent Repairs Typical vent repairs that we perform include: Replacing or repairing venting in attics or crawl spaces; removing small sections of drywall in laundry closets to repair or replace venting; and drilling holes in walls to run new venting. We cannot “finish” the drywall. We cannot puncture holes through flat roofs. (We can arrange for professional roofers to add vent covers through roofs.) Labor costs, parts and trip expenses make the average vent repair cost between $150 and $250.