It is necessary to clean your dryer exhaust ducts at least once a year to clean out lint buildup. Flexible duct hoses are relatively simple to clean by just disconnecting them and taking them outside. Rigid vent pipes usually require brushes and extensions. However, it is possible to clean dryer vent pipe with a leaf blower. This requires disconnecting the outside vent so the lint has an unobstructed escape route. Since the leaf blower must operate inside the home, the leaf blower must be an electric model.
Things You'll Need
- Phillips screwdriver
- Utility knife
- Electric leaf blower
- Duct tape
Unplug the dryer power cord. Turn the gas valve behind the dryer to the off position if you have a gas dryer.
Reach behind the dryer and loosen the clamp screw securing the vent pipe to the back of the dryer with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the dryer away from the rear enough that you are able to position your leaf blower over the end of the dryer vent pipe.
Loosen the clamp screw securing the vent pipe to the outside vent pipe at the wall. Go outside and remove the screws securing the outside vent to the house. It might be necessary to score the caulk on the outside perimeter of the vent pipe with a utility knife. Pull the outside vent away from the house.
Pull out as much lint from both ends of the dryer vent pipe as possible with your hands. Go to the end inside the house and position the nozzle end of your leaf blower over the end of the pipe. Depending on the size of the vent pipe, the blower end will fit loosely inside or outside the pipe.
Wrap duct tape around the end of the vent pipe and the leaf blower nozzle. This helps keep the lint from blowing back into the house.
Plug the leaf blower into an outlet and allow the leaf blower to run for two minutes. Unplug the leaf blower and go to the end of the vent on the outside of the house. If there is compacted lint at the end of the pipe, pull it out and run the leaf blower again from inside the house.
Remove the duct tape once the vent pipe is clear, and remove the leaf blower. Insert the outside vent back into the wall and secure it with the retaining screws. Secure the vent pipe to the outside vent pipe with the pipe clamp.
Push the dryer back into its normal position, sliding the vent pipe over the dryer exhaust. Tighten the clamp screw to secure the pipe. Turn on the gas valve, if you have a gas dryer. Plug in the electrical cord.
Tips & Warnings
- Caulk the perimeter of the outside vent with silicone caulk to prevent water seeping between the vent and the wall.
- Make an adapter from a PVC step down connector instead of using duct tape. Measure the diameter of the leaf blower nozzle and the duct pipe. Purchase a step-down adapter that closely matches the diameters.
- Do not use a gas-powered leaf blower inside the house.