When You Should Upgrade a Dryer Vent

When cleaning house, the dryer vent probably doesn’t get much consideration. However, it is important that vents are well-maintained and cleaned thoroughly. Here are some important facts about your dryer vent:


General Rules

While cleaning your dryer vent would usually depend on how heavily you use your dryer or its model, there are some general rules:

  • The exit point of your dryer vent should be outside the house and not in the attic, chimney, garage, or crawlspace.
  • Put a backdraft damper and bird guard at the exit point.
  • Do not use flexible transition ducts in an enclosed space.

Upgrading and Cleaning

Your dryer vent may not need as much attention as other parts of the home, but you must maintain its upkeep so your appliance functions as it should. Here are some telltale signs that your dryer needs upgrading and cleaning:

  • Your dryer ducts have several bends
  • The ductwork is made of plastic or thin foil
  • Exhaust does not exit the house


Once you’ve identified whether or not your dryer vent needs upgrading, make an appointment to have it upgraded immediately, for your own safety, air quality, and fire prevention. Here are some additional reasons to have your vent upgraded:


Mould prevention

When the dryer vent fails to release hot air and moisture, it can hold wet spots, allowing for the development of mould in your vent. This may compromise the performance of your dryer. Keeping your vent clean prevents mildew and allergens.


Increased efficiency

If your dryer vent is clogged, the laundry takes longer to dry and needs multiple cycles. Clean and maintain dryer to ensure that the dryer works efficiently, saving money on hydro and preventing excess heat in the home.

When You Should Upgrade a Dryer Vent

Maintainance for safety

If your duct is plastic, white, or very thin, you must replace it to prevent dryer-related fires. Cleaning vents regularly also prevents clogs that might cause fumes to back up into your home and compromise air quality.


How to Decrease Buildup in Your Dryer Vent

In between your dryer’s scheduled cleaning and maintenance, here are some tips how you can remove debris:

  • Hang heavier fabrics on a clothesline instead of using the dryer.
  • Clean the lint trap each time you use the dryer.
  • Vacuum inside the dryer and remove particles from the outdoor vent.
  • Use the dryer in intervals to allow air circulation and decrease lint buildup.
  • Use dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets — their residue can clog the lint filters.
  • Use liquid fabric softener sparingly (if at all); it can make some fabrics more flammable at high heat.


Dryer vents need professional cleaning once a year, depending on how often you do laundry. For professional duct cleaning around Ottawa, Ontario, use the services of Dr. Duct. Make an appointment with us by calling (613) 845-0707.