Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Dryer Vent Cleaning Professional

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated January 6, 2022
Father with son in baby carrier doing laundry
Photo: Ariel Skelley / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Request a price quote to compare to the average cost of a professional dryer cleaning.

  • Understand the benefits of hiring a professional dryer cleaner rather than DIY.

  • Schedule annual appointments to keep a regular maintenance schedule.

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It's an easy task to overlook, but a regular dryer vent cleaning won't only maximize your dryer's longevity; it also helps keep you and your family safe. A surprisingly high number of household fires start because of clogged dryer vents.

It's possible to clean dryer vents yourself, but hiring a professional gives you the peace of mind that the job was done right. Asking the professional to explain their process and their tools also helps you gauge their competency and experience. When shopping around for a local dryer vent cleaner, ask the pros the following questions to ensure they’re the right person for the job.

1. How Much Will You Charge to Clean My Dryer Vents?

The average cost to have your dryer vents cleaned professionally is $135. However, this price varies depending on factors such as location, whether you have a test to ensure the dryer is up to code, and dryer placement. 

When requesting a price quote from a potential dryer vent cleaner, consider how their estimate compares to the average cost. For example, if a pro quotes your job as more than $200, you should consider other options. Likewise, you should be wary of price estimates that are significantly lower than the average cost.

2. How Frequently Should I Hire You For This Task?

If a dryer vent pro suggests that you hire them to clean for the same service every month, you should hear alarm bells ringing. You can expect to hire a dryer vent cleaning professional annually to keep your dryer functional and safe to use.

However, there are some factors that may result in the need for more frequent cleanings. Some dryer vent pros might suggest visiting more often if you have a large family, an old dryer, pets that shed, a long or flexible vent, or if you wash lots of bulky blankets and towels. 

3. How Do I Know When My Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning?

Woman putting blue shirt in the dryer
Photo: Techa Tungateja / EyeEm / Getty Images

In between annual cleanings, keep an eye out for signs the dryer vent needs cleaning. Your dryer vent professional will likely provide a list of signals, but some clues you shouldn't ignore include:

  • Longer than normal drying times

  • A sudden increase in energy bills 

  • Overly hot vents or clothes

  • Burning smells originating from the dryer

  • Clothes with a musty odor after drying

4. Can I DIY the Dryer Vent Cleaning?

While it’s possible to DIY dryer vent cleaning, employing an expert annually for a thorough clean is best to ensure the safety of your household.

If the dryer vent is not overly long and easily accessible, you may be able to clean away any lint and other debris without too much hassle. There are DIY kits available that help you access the length of the ductwork, with tools included to clean the nooks and crannies inside your ductwork. Be aware of the risks of cleaning the ductwork yourself, including causing a ductwork puncture or pushing the debris further down the vent, making it more of a fire hazard. 

5. What Are the Benefits of Hiring You Instead of Cleaning the Dryer Vent Myself?

Worker cleaning dryer vent at home
Photo: Bill Oxford / iStock / Getty Images Plus

An experienced dryer vent cleaning professional will explain why it’s beneficial for them to do the work, particularly after assessing your dryer set-up. These experts have the right experience and long, flexible, sturdy tools to ensure they won't leave unsafe blockages behind.

The pro will conduct a full inspection and evaluation, and many even use video cameras to check that the vents are completely clear of debris after they’ve finished their work. For example, it's not only lint that gets stuck in the ductwork—pests commonly enter dryer vents, too. A pro can also offer suggestions for preventing pests from accessing the vent in the future.

Another benefit to hiring a pro is that they can also spot any faults or breakages in the ductwork, and some may even help you shorten an overly long dryer vent hose to make it a better length with fewer bends for cleaning. They’ll also offer you tips for interim dryer vent inspections and advice on what to look out for that might indicate you have a problem.

6. Can You Provide References?

An experienced and reputable professional should be happy to provide references from local customers who hired them for similar jobs. Before hiring a dryer vent cleaning company, read online reviews and request to see customer testimonials. Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates, request proof of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.

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