How Much Does Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost?
Dust and dirt often build up in dryer vents, so they warrant regular cleanings. A dryer vent cleaning cost averages $138, but it can be as low as $101 or as high as $176.
- Typical Range: $101 to $176
- National Average: $138
Once hot air dries clothes in a dryer, it must be vented out through a dryer vent. A dryer’s exhaust system consists of a pipe or hose attached to the dryer that runs to the exterior of a home. Over time, dust, lint, and dirt can accumulate in even the best dryer vent pipe and must be cleaned out. A dryer vent cleaning will remove this built-up debris, so a dryer can continue to function efficiently and effectively.
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, dryer vent cleaning cost ranges from $101 to $176, or $138 on average. What is dryer vent cleaning? It’s when a trained professional uses a vacuum to remove any built-up dust or dirt in the vent duct. These pros could also use a brush to knock any clogs of debris loose. The actual cost of a dryer vent cleaning depends on many factors detailed in this cost guide, along with tips on how to hire the right professional for a dryer vent cleaning.
Factors in Calculating Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost
Dryer duct cleaning prices are not always cut and dried, but rather depend on a variety of factors. Some of the factors affecting dryer vent cleaning cost include the type of dryer vent cleaning service, the particular issue with the vent, the location and material of the vent, the complexity of the project, the cost of labor, the specific company used, the frequency of cleaning, and the home’s geographic location.
While a general dryer vent cleaning costs $101 to $176, there are several other types of services for dryer vents, all with varying costs. Cleaning the dirt and debris from the air ducts connected to a home’s forced-air system costs $270 to $490. Inspection of a dryer vent to make sure everything is in good working order costs $30 to $60 on average, but this is oftentimes included in the cost of a general cleaning. The cost to reroute or install a new dryer vent is $200 to $500. Most dryer vents have a bird guard installed on the outside pipe to prevent birds and other animals from getting inside the pipe—this feature costs $30 to $100 on average to install. Two additional services that can amplify a dryer’s air system are lint alert monitoring and disinfectant fogging. Lint alert monitoring gives off an alert if a dryer becomes too hot or engulfed with lint and costs $170 to $250. Disinfectant fogging is a solution that is placed in a dryer’s air system to prevent bacteria and mold and costs $50 to $100.
The most common problems a dryer vent experiences that require cleaning are a clogged pipe, wet lint accumulation, or a bird nest. Homeowners can expect to pay $100 to $200 to have a clogged pipe cleaned. If a clog is ignored, it can lead to increased electricity bills or even create a fire hazard. Cleaning out wet lint will cost $100 to $300. When condensation and moisture build up in a dryer’s exhaust system, lint can become wet and stick to the sides of a vent pipe. Birds are known to build nests in the exterior portion of dryer vent pipes. Hiring a professional to remove these nests costs anywhere from $150 to $400. To prevent a bird, a squirrel, or other types of pest from building a nest in a dryer vent pipe, homeowners can have a bird cover or screen installed.
The location of a dryer vent does play a role in the average cost of dryer vent cleaning. Dryer vents are typically easier to access in basements and on first floors. A dryer vent cleaning in these locations will cost $80 to $150. Access is typically more difficult for second-floor dryer vents, which translates to a higher cost of $110 to $185. For vents located on the roof, homeowners can expect to pay $130 on average for a cleaning. The cost could increase from there, as rooftop vents are more prone to damage and debris buildup.
The material a dryer vent pipe is made of can impact the cost. Typically, dryer vents are either slim, rigid, or semi-rigid ducts made of foil or aluminum. A vent cleaning could be more expensive if the duct runs a long distance or is difficult to maneuver with the vacuum or brush. Additionally, a vent pipe with many turns, especially 90-degree turns, will be more costly to clean as the process will take longer. The best dryer vent hoses for tight spaces can be more difficult to clean out, as the hose is smaller and has more turns.
Dryer cleaning projects can range in complexity, leading to different project costs. This is usually due to the amount of debris in the dryer vent. Lint and dust that have built up and are difficult to remove will increase the vent cleaning cost to anywhere between $120 to $250. Additionally, the presence of bird nests, rodents, or other matter will add to the overall cost.
There are very few materials required for a dryer vent cleaning, which means the largest percentage of the cost—83 percent—comes from labor. Homeowners can expect to spend $65 to $150 on labor when requesting a dryer vent cleaning service. The exact price ultimately depends on how long the cleaning process is. How long does dryer vent cleaning take? Typically, the job can be done in less than an hour by one individual. If the vent is difficult to access or is extensively dirty or damaged, the process could take 2 to 3 hours and may require another person to assist.
Vent Cleaning Company
The price to clean a dryer vent varies from company to company. Many of the best dryer vent cleaning services have standardized pricing that one can expect when hiring them for a cleaning. For example, Dryer Vent Wizard typically charges between $120 and $220 for its vent cleaning services. This is in addition to a system check fee of $40, which ensures the system is up to code prior to the cleaning. The household-name company Stanley Steemer provides dryer vent cleaning for $75 to $175. This service includes a vent inspection along with recommendations on how to improve air quality throughout a home. Sears also offers an air duct cleaning service, including a “Clean and Maintain” package that provides an inspection and cleans a washer and dryer set for $150. Another company to consider is Coit Cleaning and Restoration. For $150 to $350, the company will clean the dryer vents and offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on the service.
How often should dryer vents be cleaned? Experts recommend cleaning dryer vents on an annual basis, but this may not be enough in all cases. If a dryer is located far from an exterior wall, the dryer vent pipe will need to be much longer; therefore, there will be more strain on the pipe. Additionally, in large households that use the dryer often, the pipe will see a lot more dust and lint. In these cases, two cleanings per year is recommended. Homeowners will want to budget for the additional cleaning cost if their situation requires more than just one cleaning annually.
Homeowners will also want to keep in mind geographic location when trying to estimate professional dryer vent cleaning cost. In certain areas where the cost of living is higher, homeowners can expect to pay a higher price for dryer vent cleaning services. Additionally, if there are not many companies that perform dryer vent cleaning services in the homeowner’s area, the ones available could offer their services at a premium rate. To combat location-specific costs, homeowners can schedule a vent cleaning as far in advance as possible to avoid surge pricing.
Additional Costs and Considerations
In addition to the aforementioned cost factors, projects might also run into certain scenarios that affect the price. If a new duct needs to be installed, an existing duct needs to be repaired, or a bird nest must be removed, the vent cleaning cost will increase.
New Duct or Vent Installation
If a dryer vent or ductwork is damaged or too worn out to be repaired, it may need to be replaced. Homeowners can expect to pay $175 to $600 for new duct or vent installation. The exact cost for new ductwork depends on the size of the duct and the distance it needs to be installed.
Complete replacement is not the only option when a vent becomes damaged. In some cases, a vent can be repaired back to good working condition. An HVAC professional can perform this type of work and will likely charge anywhere from $75 to $150.
Bird Nest Removal
Birds are notorious for building nests inside dryer vent pipes. Homeowners will typically pay between $150 and $400 for a bird nest removal from a dryer vent. Birds are not the only animals that will build their home in a dryer vent: Squirrels, mice, and other rodents can climb inside if the vent is not properly covered. To avoid this issue, homeowners can seal the exterior side of the dryer vent with a cover or bird screen.
Types of Dryer Vent Cleaning
When a homeowner requests a dryer vent cleaning service, they most often want just a general cleaning; however, there are many other types of dryer vent cleaning services available.
A general dryer vent cleaning costs between $101 and $176. During a general cleaning, the contractor will first locate the outside dryer cap and inspect it for any blockages, such as bird nests or debris. A tubular vacuum with a brush attachment is used to fully clean out the vent pipe from the outside of the home. A snake brush is then inserted to brush away any clogs or stuck-on dirt and dust. The brush is flexible so it can navigate bends in the vent pipe. In the case of stubborn lint that will not budge with either of the previous devices, the vent pipe may need to be disassembled to remove the clog. After the vent pipe is completely cleaned from the outside, the contractor will move inside and clean the pipe where it connects to the dryer.
Air Duct Cleaning
While the air ducts are not directly connected to the dryer vent, many homeowners choose to have them cleaned along with the dryer vent if it’s a service the company offers. Air duct cleaning costs anywhere from $270 to $490. During this process, dust and dirt are removed from all the ductwork in a forced air system. How often should HVAC ducts be cleaned? Experts recommend a complete air duct cleaning every 3 to 5 years to remove allergens from a home.
For a dryer vent inspection, homeowners can expect to pay $30 to $60 on average. This service is often included as part of a general dryer vent cleaning or can even be complimentary in some cases. A dryer vent inspection ensures the pipe is not damaged or restricted. Experts recommend an annual dryer vent inspection to avoid any potential fire hazards.
Vent Rerouting or Installation
The cost to have a dryer vent rerouted or a new vent installed ranges from $200 to $500. A dryer vent may need to be rerouted if the dryer is moved to a different location or if the vent itself is in a bad location, such as an attic, garage, or crawl space. A new vent pipe is necessary when a brand-new dryer is installed.
Bird Guard Installation
A bird guard can be installed on the exterior portion of a dryer vent pipe to prevent birds and other creatures from getting inside the pipe. This installation costs anywhere from $30 to $100. Birds, squirrels, mice, and other pests are known to build nests inside dryer vent pipes. A bird guard prevents these intruders from getting inside the pipe and is perforated so dryer exhaust fumes can still escape.
Lint Alert Monitor Installation
Homeowners can have a lint alert monitor installed for between $170 and $250 to alert them when the dryer vent requires cleaning. A lint alert monitoring system is placed on the back of a dryer, monitoring airflow and temperature. If the dryer overheats or builds up too much lint, the monitor will set off an alert. In most cases, the issue can be solved by scheduling a cleaning for the dryer vent pipe.
Disinfectant fogging is a service commonly done alongside a dryer vent cleaning. For $50 to $100, a disinfectant solution is added to the air system in a dryer. This solution helps to reduce bacteria and mold growth in the dryer. A homeowner might request this service if the dryer is taking a long time to dry clothes or has an unpleasant mildew smell.
Do I Need Dryer Vent Cleaning?
Some homeowners may wonder “Is dryer vent cleaning necessary?” While it is not a commonly discussed task, it is certainly maintenance that’s necessary to keep a home safe and sound. The following are some situations that can often be corrected by regularly cleaning a dryer vent pipe.
Increased Drying Time
If a homeowner constantly needs to run clothes through another drying cycle because one drying cycle is not enough to dry them fully, a dirty or clogged vent pipe could be the issue. A buildup of dust and lint in the vent and ultimately the dryer itself prevents the dryer from exhausting the hot, moist air and replacing it with hot air that dries clothes. Homeowners can have a professional check and clean the vent if the dryer is not drying.
Increased Energy Bills
When a dryer vent duct becomes clogged, a dryer must use more energy to force the hot air out of the pipe, which can quickly cause increased energy bills. If the homeowner notices spiked energy bill pricing, a clogged dryer vent could be the cause, and the homeowner is advised to inspect the vent and schedule a cleaning as necessary.
A burning smell coming from a dryer almost always indicates an issue, and sometimes the issue can be resolved with a dryer vent cleaning. If the burning smell is from lint found in the heating element, then cleaning the dryer and vent to remove the lint will solve the problem. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that a burning smell from a dryer can also be due to a worn belt or malfunctioning thermostat, so it’s advisable to check for any of these potential problems.
Dryers are made to only heat up on the inside where the clothes are located. If the laundry room becomes noticeably hotter or if the dryer is hot to the touch, it is likely overheating. While there can be multiple causes for overheating, a clogged vent pipe is one of them. Homeowners can consult a professional to determine the cause of the dryer overheating and whether the vent needs to be cleaned.
External Appearance of Lint
Every now and then, a homeowner will notice a small amount of lint fall from the exterior of a dryer vent pipe. If the amount of lint is excessive, this indicates a large buildup of lint inside the pipe. The lint should be vacuumed out so the problem does not get worse and the pipe become clogged.
Dryer Vent Cleaning: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
DIY dryer vent cleaning is an option some homeowners choose. The best dryer vent cleaning kits on the market can help assist homeowners with the task. While this route might seem ideal for saving some money, there are many benefits to hiring a professional for the job. Additionally, if a homeowner is unsure how to clean a dryer vent, it’s recommended that they leave it up to the professionals.
A professional will know how to use the long, flexible tools made for dryer vent cleaning. They will thoroughly clean the pipe, ensuring no lint or blockages are left behind. Additionally, dryer vents and hoses can be somewhat delicate and easy to break. The pro will complete the process with care to not damage any of the duct.
Many different pros can complete a dryer vent cleaning, from plumbers to HVAC technicians to companies that specifically offer the service. Another benefit of hiring one of these professionals is the additional services they can complete at this time. The homeowner can easily request a vent inspection or ductwork cleaning in addition to the vent cleaning. The expert can offer advice on proper vent maintenance and care so the dryer system functions properly for years to come.
How to Save Money on Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost
While a dryer vent cleaning is often charged at a flat rate, there are still ways to save money. Consider following these money-saving tips to keep more cash in your wallet while getting dust out of your dryer vent.
- Schedule annual dryer vent cleanings. Most experts recommend a dryer vent clean every year. By keeping up with these annual cleanings, each cleaning will be fairly straightforward and shouldn’t require additional steps that cost extra money.
- Keep up with regular dryer maintenance tasks. If your dryer is properly maintained, the task of cleaning your dryer vent pipe will not be as time-consuming, therefore costing less money. To properly maintain a dryer, clean the lint filter after every cycle, don’t overfill the dryer, and replace any worn-out parts.
- Request pricing from multiple companies. Don’t rely on pricing from just one company for your dryer cleaning service. Obtain quotes from at least three different service providers to compare pricing and choose the best-value option.
Questions to Ask About Dryer Vent Cleaning
Before hiring an expert to clean a dryer vent, homeowners will want to fully vet the company. Asking the following questions of each service provider will help homeowners accurately compare each business and choose the best fit for their project.
- Do you offer free estimates?
- Are your dryer vent cleaning services a flat rate?
- Will you provide a written quote and contract?
- What does your dryer vent cleaning quote include?
- Are you licensed and insured to complete this type of work?
- How long have you been in business?
- What kind of training do you offer for your employees?
- Will the work be completed by an employee of your business or by a subcontractor?
- Can you provide references from similar projects?
- Do you recommend any dryer vent services in addition to the cleaning?
- How often should I have my dryer vent cleaned?
- How do I know that my dryer vent needs to be cleaned?
- What does the dryer vent cleaning process look like?
- How long will the cleaning take?
- What equipment do you use to clean the vent?
- How soon can you schedule the work?
- How do you handle disputes or disagreements?
Dryer vent cleaning can be an unknown topic for many homeowners. Before hiring a professional to complete the service at their residence, homeowners can review these frequently asked questions.
Q. How often should dryer vents be cleaned?
Dryer vents should be cleaned at least once per year. In households where the dryer is used more frequently, consider increasing the cleanings to once every 6 months.
Q. How do I clean my dryer vent?
To clean a dryer vent, first locate the vent pipe. It will be attached to the back of the dryer and run out through the exterior of the home. Safely unplug the dryer from the power outlet and disconnect the vent pipe from the back of the dryer, removing any tape or clamps as needed. Clean out the dust and dirt from the inside of the pipe with a dryer vent cleaning kit. Clean the pipe from both the interior and exterior ends. Once the vent pipe is fully cleaned, reattach it to the dryer and carefully plug the dryer back into the outlet.
Q. How long does dryer vent cleaning take?
A dryer vent cleaning takes about an hour. If a dryer vent pipe is very long or extremely dirty, the process could take longer.
Q. Why is dryer vent cleaning important?
Dryer vent cleaning is important because a clogged or dirty vent pipe can become flammable, increase utility bills, cause mold growth, or reduce the lifespan of a dryer. When a dryer vent pipe is regularly cleaned, it will put less strain on the machine and require less maintenance.
Q. Where is the dryer vent located?
The dryer vent is located at the back of a dryer and runs out of a home through an exterior wall or roof. Usually, the vent pipe is a 4-inch aluminum or foil pipe that connects to a louvered vent cover on the outside of the home.
Q. How do I check my dryer vent?
To check your dryer vent, first locate the vent pipe that runs from the back of the dryer to an exterior wall or roof. Once it’s located, carefully unplug the dryer and remove the vent pipe from the dryer. Check the pipe hose for any buildup of dust or dirt and clean it out as necessary.