What are Types of Dryer Vent Tubing and How to Clean Them?

How long has it been since you cleaned your dryer vents?

More than a year? Then, it’s high time you clean them as soon as possible!

Dryers are probably one of the most used home appliances and lint buildup is possibly one of the commonest issues most homeowners face.

Therefore, cleaning the vent is crucial.

However, you need to know the different types of dryer vent tubing that’s used in most homes. This will help you understand how to clean them better.

Here are 5 Types of Dryer Vent Tubing

1. Rigid Metal Duct

Metal ducts are made up of steel or aluminum. They are smooth on the inside. Metal ducts are good because it allows free flow of air.

The rigid nature of these pipes means ducts can turn 90 or 45 degrees only. But this measure entirely depends on the type of elbows used. 

2. Aluminum Foil Duct

This is one of the most used dryer ducts in all homes. For all you know, the dryer vents in your home are also made up of aluminum foil. The length of these ducts should be at least 8 feet.

If you’re not using these, then consider changing the vents to aluminum foil. But avoid installing aluminum foil ducts in a congested place.

3. Slim Duct

The small pipe is a long rigid aluminum duct designed for a crowded place. It is great to install these ducts when you want to save space or don’t have enough space.

It can adjust between 27 and 48 inches in length. It can be installed in any direction - vertical, horizontal or diagonal.

4. Plastic Duct

A plastic duct is very similar to the aluminum foil duct. But there’s one difference! It’s thinner than the plastic duct.

Although plastic ducts are quite popular, they are not advised as per the building codes.

Using ducts made up of plastic are not advisable. This is because the lint buildup can be huge due to their ribbed interior. It’s certainly a fire hazard!

5. Semi-rugged Metal Duct

These ducts are suitable for transition purpose only. Avoid installing them directly on the walls or floors.

The semi-rugged are more rigid than the aluminum ones but similar in other perspectives.

Dryer vent tubing comes in a variety of materials but most of them need to be cleaned on a regular basis. 

The best way to clean them is to hire a professional dryer vent company. They have skilled personnel and use the right tools and equipment to clean the vents quickly.

But if you’d like to attempt to clean the vents on your own, here’s how you can do it.

How to Clean Dryer Vents in 4 Easy Steps?

1. Prepare the Dryer Vent

As a thumb rule, when you work with any electrical appliances, unplug them first. But if you’re using a gas dryer, then turn it off. 

The next step is to move the dryer vent away from the walls. Then get all your tools ready. You’ll need the following. 

  • Cleaning brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • A straight object that can pass in a vent hose, like a long brush 

2. Empty the Lint Screen

Cleaning the lint screen is the first task that you should do when doing laundry. Not even a small amount of debris should be present on the screen after cleaning it.

3. Separate the Tube

There is a tube that connects the dryer and vent. This pipe is attached to the wall with screws. So to remove the attachment use a correct-sized screwdriver.  

Then remove the tube for accessing the vent.

Try to keep small objects like screws in a place where you can find them quickly. After cleaning, you’ll need them to fix the tube again.

4. Vacuum

Take the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner into the vent that runs into the wall. Try to push the end of the vacuum cleaner in the vent as much as you can for deeper cleaning.

If you don't have a vacuum cleaner you can clean the interiors using a long brush or a cloth.

Once you’re done cleaning the vent, you’ll need to fix everything back. Here’s how you should do it.

  • Fix the tube connecting the dryer and vent. 
  • Attach the tube back to the wall using screws. 
  • Slide back the dryer towards the wall. Make sure there’s a gap for ventilation.

Alternatively, you can also contact Dri & Kleen Home Services for getting the dryer vent cleaned professionally.