Tips

The *Right* Way to Clean Out Your Dryer Vents (and Reduce Your Risk of a Fire)

by Rose Marie Walano 3:00 AM, April 3, 2018

Aired April 3, 2018

Have you ever stopped to think about your dryer vents?

Well, if you don't, you absolutely MUST.

"There's two main reasons [you have to do this]," says Anthony Carrino, one half of HGTV's home improvement duo "The Cousins." "One is fire — lint is super flammable."

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Rach says she has neighbors who have lost their homes from dryer vent lint, and in fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home dryer fires are reported each year! They cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. And a whopping 34 percent of these fires are because the dryers weren’t cleaned properly.

But Anthony adds, "The other reason, which is actually equally as important, it keeps your machines running more efficiently. When you think about the expense of a washer, the expense of a dryer, you want to keep these. That's why we do maintenance — we maintain things so we don't have to replace things."

Luckily, it's really easy to get those vents clean! All you have to do is detach the vent from both ends, and get in there with lint brush, making sure to go inside both ends to get all the lint out.

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But also! "Cousin" John Colaneri adds that you have to clean the vents outside your house, too!

"You have to go outside your house, you have to check the flap — we all know that flap that sits on the outside, right? Make sure there's no lint on the outside," John explains. "Because it can get stuck in there, leaves can get stuck in there, clean all that stuff out. Very important!"

A clean vent is a happy vent, y'all!