Everyone knows about cleaning the lint trap inside clothes dryers, but how many people regularly clean out their dryer exhaust ducts? In the case of environmental weblog Treehugger writer Johan Laumer after he cleaned out the duct for the first time in 15 years he found that a load of towels that would take 90 minutes to dry now only needs 25.
After removing the flexible exhaust duct from the back of his dryer John found accumulated lint had narrowed the connection between the flexible duct and the rigid exhaust pipe to around half of what it should be. He found a similar glob of lint after a 90° turn in the pipe as well as a layer of lint inside the exhaust duct.
Start by unplugging your dryer and removing the flexible duct from the back of the dryer. Use a large cleaning brush to remove any lint and then use that brush to push out any lint from behind your lint trap. Vacuum everything up and repeat the same process where the duct exhaust exits your house. Sometimes birds or rodents may build nests where the duct exits your home.
If a dryer exhaust duct is ever completely clogged it is possible for it to start a house fire. Getting rid of that worry in addition to a big increase of efficiency in one of the most energy-intensive appliances should motivate home owners and even renters to clean the ductwork once a year or so.
Save Money By Cleaning Dryer Exhaust Ducts [Treehugger]