Should You Clean Out Your Dryer Vent With A Leaf Blower?
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Should You Clean Out Your Dryer Vent With A Leaf Blower?

Aug 06, 2023

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It's definitely important to clean out your dryer vent at least once a year, but every three to six months is recommended if you use this appliance. Especially if you use your washer and dryer often, as it can prevent accidental fires. You may have heard that using a leaf blower to clean it out is possible, which would make the job much easier. But should you use one? Here's the answer: If your dryer vent meets certain specific criteria, you can use a leaf blower. However, there are better alternatives.

To have one professionally cleaned out will typically cost between $100 and $200 or more, so learning the best way to DIY will be the smartest move. Always remember to remove dirt and lint from the lint trap on the inside of your dryer, as this is the other primary way to keep duct or vent cleanings to a minimum. It can certainly be an intimidating task, but it doesn't have to be.

To effectively clean the dryer vent with a leaf blower, it needs to meet highly particular criteria. First, it must be straight and short, meaning no more than a couple of feet in length. A leaf blower is only effective for a short, straight distance. In addition to this, it must have smooth metal interior walls. Unfortunately, accordion-style dryer vents cannot be properly cleaned with a leaf blower.

Another thing to note is whether or not there's a metal screen on the exterior wall. If there is, and it's removable, you can still use a leaf blower on it. On the other hand, if it's unremovable, then you'll have to skip it. If there's no screen, this method is back on the table. For you to use a leaf blower to clean your dryer vent, the component must meet all these requirements, with no exceptions. Needless to say, this situation is quite rare.

If you have the right dryer vent type and want to use a leaf blower, just move the dryer away from the wall and remove the hose. Use some duct tape to make a seal around the leaf blower and the dryer vent opening. Be sure to remove the screen we talked about from the outside opening and clean around the outer edge. Start with two quick bursts of air, then run for about 30 seconds to a minute. There'll be a mess outside to clean up, but that's it.

Now that we understand the criteria for using the leaf-blower method, the question remains whether it's a good idea. The fact is, many sources say it's quite risky. The main reason? It's not made to clean out dryer vents. The biggest risk associated with using your leaf blower for this purpose is possible damage to the dryer vent. Because it was not made to handle the gusts of a powerful leaf blower, it can separate the walls of the device. As you can imagine, this could be a potential nightmare of a mess.

Instead of a leaf blower, a great alternative is a dryer vent cleaning brush kit. They're drill-powered; you can find them for $19.99 at Lowe's. They also make a specialized vacuum cleaner attachment for cleaning dryer vents for $10.95 on Amazon. Either of these options is a better idea than your leaf blower and probably gets the job done faster and more efficiently. The bottom line is that if you have the right dryer vent tube, you can use your leaf blower to clean it — but you probably shouldn't. There are better options.