Lint buildup in a dryer and its vent cuts the dryer's efficiency. Clothes take longer to dry, while
your energy bills go up. But the biggest reason to clean out lint is that lint
buildup can lead to a fire. Most experts recommend cleaning it out once a year. The best tool for cleaning the
vent is a special brush with a long, flexible shaft (about $30 at most home
centers). But if you want to save some money, you can use a handheld plumbing
snake and a rag.
— Gary Wentz, Senior
Prevent home fires
Avoid a chimney fire
Prevent water damage
A shop vac with an extra long nose, like the kind used for cutting corners, works well, too. Also if you use dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener these can leave a highly flammable residue on your filters. I don't know what a recommended cleaning schedule for these are, but I wash mine quarterly with warm water and dish soap.
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