Our laundry nook is smack in the middle of our house. The dryer vent goes into an interior wall, turns 90° downward, soon turns 90° back the way it came, and goes straight for four or five meters until exiting a tube near the ground on an exterior wall.
I'm a new homeowner and knew nothing about this stuff until just recently, when our dryer has started drying clothes very very very slowly. We unhooked the dryer and used a shop vac to get several big chunks of lint out of the vent. Then we got several big soaking wet chunks of lint out of the vent. And we weren't done getting lint out it when we ran into the maximum length of our shop vac hose.
Further reading and investigation has turned up several interesting pieces of information:
- There hasn't been a vent cover on the outlet of the dryer vent the whole time we've lived here.
- There's really supposed to be a vent cover on any dryer vent.
- There's really, really not supposed to be any water infiltration in your dryer vent.
- This has apparently been a really, really, really big fire hazard for who knows how long.
So given that we don't have the tools necessary to clean the thing properly, we're planning on calling a repairman tomorrow. Money's very very tight, though, so first I thought I'd ask:
Is there any way of satisfactorily cleaning our dryer vent ourselves? Or is it going to end up being cheaper to call in an expert to fix it for us?