Clean and Repair Plugged or Leaky Dryer Vent
A plugged or leaking dryer vent keeps moist air from exiting your home, and it can end up in hardwood floors, ceiling and walls where it causes rot and mold. Other problems might include:
- Fire due to intense heat
- Carbon monoxide poisoning in gas dryer leaks
- Longer drying times which lead to higher utility costs
- A decrease in your dryer’s durability
Does the air in your laundry area feel damp when the dryer is running? It might be time to clean or replace the vent and hose. This house repairs guide will help you decide whether to do the job yourself or to hire a professional – either an appliance repair technician someone that does general home repairs.
Dryer Vent Cleaning and Repair Tips and Resources
This guide includes tips for a DIY job that will direct you in the work.
The tools and materials required are included too, so you’ll know what to pick up at the home improvement store. Dryer vent repair prices are included for DIY and professional work, and we’ll suggest ways to save money too.
Finally, a list of resources provides more helpful tips for dryer vent cleaning and repair.
The dryer vent hose attaches to the back or side of your dryer using a round clamp. The hose runs to an exterior vent where the warm, moist air is released. The outside vent might have flaps on it that can become plugged or broken. This could cause mold problems that could turn into a major issue.
- The first tip is to check your dryer’s lint filter to make sure it is free of lint since a clogged filter will produce the same types of problems
- Turn the dryer on with a few damp items of clothes in it, let it get hot and then move your hand up and down the hose to feel for leaks
- You might feel the air, feel heat or feel your hand cool caused by moisture evaporating from your skin
- For repairs rather than replacement, quality duct tape wrapped securely around the vent hose is best but can be unsightly
- Since dryer vent hose is relatively cheap, many homeowners choose to replace it rather than repair it
- To replace the vent hose, loosen the clamps on the dryer and the exterior vent until the hose slips off
- Measure the hose so you determine how long the replacement must be
- For the new hose, choose semi-rigid or flexible metal hose for safety, effectiveness and durability
- Attach the new hose be slipping it over the dryer vent and outside vent, putting the clamp back in place and tightening it snuggly
- To do this, place the clamp loosely onto the hose first
- Don’t tighten clamps to the point they crush the vent on the dryer or exterior of your home
- If the vent hose is intact but has a lot of lint in it, clean it out with a shop vacuum or remove it and hose it out in the bathtub, a utility tub or out of doors
- When the vent hose is enclosed within the wall or floor, consider one of the dryer vent cleaning kits on the market from $24 to $40
- If the external vent cover is broken, remove it and take it to a home improvement store for a replacement. If it looks o.k. it is still a good idea to take it off and clean it while it has your attention
- Look for a replacement vent cover with the same spacing between screw holes for easier installation
- Install the vent so that the vent flaps, if it has them, are closed when the dryer isn’t running they open up from the bottom when the dryer is on and pushing air through it so make sure the flaps swing from the top when you install the replacement
- NEVER cover the exterior vent with screen to keep out insects or rodents because this will cause it to clog quickly and create carbon monoxide, mold and rot issues
Dryer Vent Cleaning and Repair Costs
These ballpark figures give you an idea what to expect for DIY or professional repairs.
DIY dryer vent cleaning and repair: This is a pretty cheap fix, and it can save you from expensive damage being done to your home.
- Dryer vent hose: $0.65 to $1.50 per foot
- Hose clamps: $0.75 to $1.50 each
- Exterior vent cover: $4 to $10
- Dryer duct connector for long runs: $4 to $6
Professional dryer vent cleaning and repair: In large cities, you might find a company specializing in this work. Otherwise, call an appliance repair company or a handyman to do the work or refer you to someone who does. A minimum service fee of $60 to $95 is often charged, and that might cover the cost of the labor with materials being extra. Complex venting situations might cost more to repair.
DIY Dryer Vent Cleaning and Repair Resources
Here’s more help for doing the work yourself.
Charlotte Dryer Vent Lady – This local vent cleaning service offers “do’s and don’ts for doing this work yourself.
Boise Dryer Vent Cleaning – Here’s an Idaho vent cleaning service with a good overview of the work that contains many good pictures.
Atlantic Foundation – Clear instructions are included in this post from a North Carolina contractor.
CYT Appliance – This appliance repair company offers good tips for maintaining and cleaning your dryer vent.