Homeowners who have never cleaned the vents on their clothes-drying machines should expect to spend an average of $130 to hire a professional. Most people will only spend between $99 and $169 for a third-party service. Plumbers are usually capable of unblocking clogged vents, and their rates will vary based on where you are in the U.S.
If you live in Utah, the cost of dryer repair in Salt Lake City may include the price of cleaning it. While you could clean your vent by purchasing a $50 kit and doing it yourself, a professional could know if there are underlying problems behind a recurring blockage and other issues.
Why Vents Become Frequently Clogged
Most cases of clogged dryer vents happen due to poor maintenance on the owner’s part. It can be as simple as forgetting to remove the contents of lint traps each time before putting clothes. The small amount of trapped lint can get inside the vent pipes and become accumulated over time. You should inspect the exhaust vent’s length once every year to prevent the build-up of lint and other debris.
Some other causes are not immediately noticeable, including animal nests, particularly when you have vents installed on the roof. Long and winding vents can also block the passage of air when small particles become trapped at a certain part, especially if the dryer is located far from an exterior wall.
Signs and Symptoms
There are several clues that indicate when a dryer has a clogged vent. These include a longer drying cycle, damp clothes after a spin, and an increased room temperature after using it. Clothes with a musty smell could also mean that vents require some cleaning, aside from a more expensive utility bill.
If you use an electric dryer, it poses a greater fire hazard at home than a gas type. In fact, a gas dryer with a clogged vent is over 2.5 times less likely to start a fire compared to an electric dryer with the same problem, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Be extra careful when washing clothes stained with cooking oil, gasoline, and other substances that contain volatile organic compounds. It’s better to hang those out to dry outside instead of using the dryer. If that’s not possible, wash the clothes separately at least two times and turn the dryer on the lowest heat setting.
Annual cleaning remains important to keep the machine in good working condition. You could also prolong its lifespan by turning off the dryer for at least 15 minutes in between loads, which prevents it from overheating.
Whether or not you decide to hire a plumber to clean your dryer vents, it’s important to inspect these parts regularly. In case you need repairs, the price shouldn’t cost more than half the amount of a new machine. Otherwise, it’s better to replace it and save more money by not having to fix an old machine that could malfunction again after a recent fix.