Can You Clean Dryer Vents With a Leaf Blower?

Posted on May 1, 2021

According to the US Fire Administration, 2,900 clothes dryers start house fires every year. With these house fires, approximately 5 people die, a hundred are injured, and homeowners will incur $35 million in property losses.

Most often, these fires are caused by not cleaning your dryer vent. Every time you do a load of laundry, lint, dust, soap scum, and loose threads from your clothing get trapped in the dryer vent. The moisture and hot air solidify those contaminants in the dryer system. Over time, this can lead to major clogs in your dryer system.

Therefore, it’s important to clean your dryer vent when lint begins to accumulate in the vents. Depending on your household and how often you do laundry, you may need to clean your dryer vents once a year to as many as three times a year. Spring and summer are great times to clean your dryer vents as part of your spring cleaning projects.

Some people recommend using a leaf blower to clean your dryer vents. Yet, there are some cases where cleaning your dryer vents with a leaf blower isn’t a great plan and some cases where a leaf blower can be effective. Keep reading below to learn when you should and shouldn’t use a leaf blower to clean your vents.

When Can You Clean Dryer Vents With A Leaf Blower

A leaf blower provides a strong, steady stream of air in a straight line. Once you’ve disconnected the duct from the wall, you should be able to use your leaf blower to blow all of the clogged materials out the other side dryer vent. However, this only works if your dryer vent system meets all of the following criteria:

  • No metal screens on exterior walls. If you do have one and can remove it, that’s fine. If you can’t remove it, the leaf blower will just compact the lint, threads, and dust onto the other side of the metal screen.
  • The vent line must be short. If it’s more than a couple of feet, the leaf blower won’t be able to blow the trappings completely through the vent.
  • The vent line doesn’t turn or curve. If there are twists and turns, the trappings will get stuck and the leaf blower won’t be able to push the clogged lint, threads, and dust all the way through.
  • The vent has smooth metal inside. Some ducts use accordion-style duct material. Unfortunately, lint collects in the folds of these and can be impossible to dislodge with a leaf blower.

If your dryer vent system doesn’t meet all of the listed requirements, do not use a leaf blower. You could create a worse clog that will require professional dryer vent cleaners to dislodge and remove.

How To Clean Dryer Vents With A Leaf Blower

If your dryer vent can be cleaned using a leaf blower, here’s how you can remove the trappings from the vents.

Unplug the Dryer

Make sure your clothes dryer is cooled down. Then, unplug the clothes dryer from the electrical outlet.

Move the Dryer Back From the Wall

You’ll need to move the dryer back a couple of feet to get the leaf blower behind the dryer. Carefully use a screwdriver to disconnect the hose from the back of the dryer and the wall.

Remove the Exterior Cover

On the outside of the house, you’ll need to find your exterior air vent where the air from the dryer escapes. Remove the cover from the vent and the screen. Clean both of these thoroughly.

Connect the Leaf Blower Inside the House

Go back into your laundry room and connect the leaf blower to the wall duct. You’ll want to wrap something around it to seal it.

Power on the Leaf Blower

Turn on the leaf blower and test it. Make sure the seal works effectively. Then, turn it on and let the blower run for thirty seconds to a minute. This should be enough time to dislodge the lint and trappings in your dryer vent.

Pick Up the Trappings

Go back to the exterior vent and clean up all of the lint and thread that was dislodged with the leaf blower. You may also need to take a brush and clean the outside opening again.

Call a Dryer Vent Cleaning Professional

Regularly cleaning your dryer vents is important for protecting your home from fires and saving money. You can enjoy a clean, healthy home by having your dryer ducts professionally cleaned by the experts at AIRPRO Indoor Air Solutions.