Using a dryer duct cleaning tool is one of the best ways to not only keep your family and house safe from fires, but also can save you money on your energy bills.
After each load of clothes you should empty the lint trap right away. This allows the next load to dry faster and to stop too much lint from getting by that initial trap and out into the ductwork. The lint trap is your first line of defence when it comes to keeping your machine working at its best.
Even if you do empty the trap you should still keep a watchful eye on the ductwork, especially if you have the flexible duct out to the wall.
Over time the duct will become lined with dust and lint from the dryer, and will make the escape vent narrow causing your machine to work extra hard and this can also heat up and possibly cause a fire, and/or shorten the life of your machine.
This is why you should always empty the lint trap, and also make sure it is in good shape. If not, then get a replacement lint trap for your machine from any reputable appliance dealer.
There are also certain ducts or vents that will build up lint faster. If you have a long flexible dryer duct with many twists and turns then these will build up lint quicker than a very short and straight duct to the outside vent. You should take a good look at it each year or simply clean it with a dryer duct cleaning tool for peace of mind.
After the flexible ductwork there is the vent on the outside of your home. You should also check this each season (or even more often if the dryer is not used very much) as birds, mice and other small critters will build nests in the vent, especially during the summer or when you may not be using the dryer very often. This will create a clog for sure.
Most vents on the outside of the house will have levers that open automatically when the vent starts blowing hot air to the outside. You should take a look when your dryer is running to make sure these vents are opening as they should.
Sometimes the lint will build up just at the end of the pipe and just before the levers, in this case you can usually get your hand in to pull that lint out.
The tools required to clean out a duct are simple. Some people will take the duct off the dryer and then try to clean it or simply replace it, which is an unnecessary expense when you can use a simple dryer duct cleaning tool.
These tools can attach to your drill and by starting on the outside you simply attach the brush and in it goes to clean all the lint off the sides of the vent. These tools are in a package with instructions on getting rid of the lint once you have cleaned it out, and good pictures and instructions.
If you are trying to watch your energy bills and have to use a dryer then make sure to include the vent cleaning as part of your maintenance so that your dryer works at peak performance.
You can get these kits in most appliance stores and home improvement stores but you can also get them online at such sites as Amazon.