Can You Use a Leaf Blower to Clean a Dryer Vent
Have you ever thought about looking inside the dryer vent to check if it needs to be cleaned? If you have, then the next thing on your mind should be how to clean it in an easier way but better.
Considering that thought, many people on the internet have been asking this question: can you use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent. The initial process seems doable, many tried it. Some passed, and some failed. Those who passed actually proved that it can be done.
I myself tried the method and found a proper way with which you can definitely clean a dryer vent using a leaf blower. In this article, I will show you a step by step process of how you can use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent. But first, let’s answer a few questions that come to almost everyone’s mind while considering this factor.
Why You Should Clean Your Dryer Vent?
The thing that causes a dryer vent to get clogged is lint. Lint is basically residue from clothes. You’ll be surprised to know that lint is a highly flammable substance. When people go for hiking and other survival adventures, they carry lint to make a bonfire because it’s very easy to light a fire using lint.
So, we are talking about a machine that creates heat. And the heat is being vented out through a pipe that is covered on all sides by lint, a highly flammable substance used by hikers and adventurers.
Can you guess where I’m going with this? Not cleaning the dryer vent is actually leaving a huge chance for a fire hazard. So, it is mandatory for doing such maintenance of dryers that involves cleaning their vent.
Which type of leaf blower can I use to clean a dryer vent?
Any type of blower can get the job done as long as your requirement is blowing air. But you have to consider what you are working with. If you are blowing leaves out of your backyard, there’s no need for any sort of consideration.
But here, we are dealing with a highly flammable substance inside a machine that generates heat. So, the first order of business while cleaning a dryer vent using a leaf blower is to stay away from all sorts of Gas powered Leaf blowers aka GLBs.
Because if by any chance the blower releases gas fumes and due to friction that fume gets a little spark on the lint, there will be a hazardous fire and you will end up injuring yourself and a lot others including destroying the dryer and maybe the leaf blower.
Things To Look Out For When Using A Leaf Blower to Clean the Dryer Vent
Cleaning the dryer vent using a leaf blower is not a complicated work as long as you’re not using a GLB. But, there are a few factors that need consideration before you can start blowing the lint out from the vent. These are-
- If there are any metal screens on the outside walls, they could keep the lint from blowing out the vent even after a strong blow. So, no metal screens on the outside wall.
- Leaf blowers lose power fast over long distances, therefore the vent line needs to be short.
- To check for airflow, it should have an easily accessible outside vent. Without checking for sufficient air movement, the dryer vent cannot be called clean.
- There are no curved or bendy vent lines. With the forceful airflow, the leaf blower may cause more of a problem by lodging lint in a vent or corner.
- It is necessary to have a smooth vent duct. Lint will gather in the ridges of the accordion-style vent tubes, which a leaf blower will not be able to remove.
Do not use a leaf blower if your dryer vent setup doesn’t quite fulfill all of the above standards. You risk causing a greater blockage, which would necessitate the services of expert dryer vent cleaners to loosen and remove.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?
Any machine requires certain maintenance regimes to work efficiently. For instance, if you drive a car, you know that it requires regular servicing, and cleaning, the tires need to have the proper amount of air, the engine needs to have all the necessary fluids in place, etc.
Without maintenance, any machine would fall. In the case of a vehicle, if the vehicle hasn’t gone through maintenance for a long time, it will start wearing different parts of the mechanism and will definitely consume fuel and end up polluting the air despite not creating enough energy.
The dryer might not pollute the air or consume fuel, but without maintenance, it can definitely take more time and consume more electricity resulting in you having to pay more electricity bills and the machine might not survive as long as it’s meant to.
So, keeping that in mind, the dryer vent should be cleaned on a regular basis, at least once a month or two. It depends on the usage though. If it’s a dryer that is used by everyone in the apartment or it’s a commercial machine, the cleaning regime can come down to once every two weeks considering how many clothes went through that dryer.
How To Clean Dryer Vents With A Leaf Blower with 7 steps
As I have said earlier, I will show you a step-by-step process that will help you to perfectly clean the dryer you have at home, or in your building or in your business place. So, stay tuned and get ready to follow each step.
Step 1: Take the Hose Out
To begin, you must first obtain access to the dryer vent. This will most likely include pulling the dryer away from the wall to allow you to operate behind it.
Take the hose out of the vent. You might be able to accomplish it without using any tools, or you might have to unscrew it.
Step 2: Take the Cover out
The next step is to remove the cover from the building’s external vent, which permits air to escape. If you don’t, the air rushing through the pipe will exert too much pressure, damaging the tubing and maybe your leaf blower.
The screws that keep the lid in place will most likely need to be unscrewed.
Step 3: Give a Physical Cleaning
When you remove the cover from the outside, you may use the time to physically clean the vent. You may remove the worst of the lint that has piled up around the lid using a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
Step 4: Secure the Leaf Blower with the Vent
Return inside and insert the end of your leaf blower in the dryer’s air vent once you’ve finished cleaning outdoors.
A cordless or electric leaf blower should be utilized; however, backpack leaf blowers may not be feasible due to their large size.
You must seal the vent surrounding the leaf blower nozzle for this to operate. Duct tape is a frequent method, as demonstrated in the video above.
Step 5: Turn the Leaf Blower on
After everything is in position, use the leaf blower for a quick blast. Repeat a few times, and if everything appears to be in order, you may let it blast for up to 30 seconds. This should blow all of the lint in the pipe out of the exterior vent quite effectively.
Step 6: Inspect The Situation
Check to check if the lint has been ejected beyond. As previously, clean the area around the exterior vent.
Step 7: Put Back Everything in Place & You’re Done!
Remove the leaf blower and reinstall everything, including the dryer and the exterior cover, after you’ve properly cleaned up your vent.
Is it safe to use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent
The initial answer to this query is that it is as safe as it can be. But there are quite a few factors that have made a lot of people skeptical and question the safety of this method. I did exactly what I explained above. It was completely safe and no harm was done.
Nevertheless, let’s find out what are the expected safety issues regarding using a leaf blower for cleaning a dryer vent. People have skepticism about using a leaf blower to clean their dryer vents according to these strict logic:
- The first caution can be minimized by not using GLBs. If there is no flammable substance like gas that can work as a catalyst in creating the proper friction, even gas fumes would cause a fire in the lint. You can avoid that by using corded electric or battery-powered leaf blowers.
You see, these types of leaf blowers don’t have any carbon-based flammable substance inside. They work on electricity which may have a certain amount of radiation but definitely does not cause any severe fire hazard.
- Secondly, if you have gone through the section where I identified the factors only when you can use a leaf blower to clean the dryer vent, you can avoid clogging at one end. So, these are legitimate reasons to not feel safe while using a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent. But if you can maintain the solutions I talked about, you too can clean the vent using a leaf blower without breaking a sweat.
Also, make sure there is no flammable substance nearby when you are cleaning the dryer vent. Because if the lint that is being blown out from the vent comes in contact with a flammable substance outside of the dryer vent with the help of hot air, it can certainly cause a fire hazard. So, work in a place where there is nothing flammable nearby.
The initial question was- can you use a leaf blower to clean a dryer vent. The answer is, yes, you can, but with a few restrictions. If you choose not to maintain any of these restrictions or choose not to follow the step by step process that I have shown to you, you are unnecessarily risking your health.
So, make sure you only perform this if the situation is maintaining all the rules that I have mentioned above. Otherwise, it will be a loss project involving an accident.