Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost Guide
Updated: 14 Jul 2022
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Updated: Jul 29, 2021
Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by Fixr.com.
As you regularly use it, the dryer vent gathers all kinds of debris that accumulates over time as the clothing spins and dries in the machine. These things should be emptied after each load; otherwise, the debris builds up inside and clogs the dryer vent. However, a dryer vent can get clogged for various reasons, including improper cleaning. Bird nests, construction debris, dust, condensation, pieces of clothing, long ducts, or wrong placement of the dryer can also explain why your dryer is clogged. Whatever the case, it is critical to have your dryer vent cleaned regularly to ensure it will not cause any hazard in your home and functions properly.
The national average cost to clean a dryer vent is between $100 and $200. Most people pay around $150 to clean a moderately clogged vent on the first floor of your home. At the low end of the spectrum, however, you can pay $80 to clean a duct of 15 feet or less. At the high end, you can pay up to $350 to inspect, remove a clog blockage, and clean a roof dryer vent.
Cost to Clean a Dryer Vent
|Dryer Vent Cleaning Price|
|National average cost||$150|
Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost per Foot
In most cases, the cost to clean a dryer vent is a flat fee based on where the vent is and whether there are additional issues in the vent. However, some technicians charge $90 to $160 per hour. Most contractors cover around 15 feet of duct in one hour, making the cost to clean a foot of dryer vent duct $6 to $11. The exact cost is determined by who does the job, the location of the vent, the size, the number of 90-degree turns, and the extent of cleaning needed. In most cases, the cleaning takes 30 to 60 minutes. The longer the vent, the longer it will take to clean it. So, the price increases accordingly. When deep cleaning is required for long vents, the cost may be calculated by the foot. However, most professionals charge by the hour.
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Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost by Problem
Different problems have different solutions. When it comes to dryer vent cleaning, it will cost $100 to $400 to solve your dryer vent problem. Some issues are easy to tackle. Others take a lot more time, materials, and effort. The final cost varies depending on these few things. The most common problems homeowners face are bird nests in dryers, clogs, or finding wet lint in the dryer. The cost of solving these things by a professional and the approach taken are explained in the table and sections below.
|Clog||$100 - $200|
|Wet Lint||$100 - $300|
|Bird Nest||$150 - $400|
Cleaning a clogged dryer vent costs homeowners $100 to $200. It’s important to clean your dryer vent as soon as you notice it’s clogged to avoid higher electricity bills and prevent it from fully clogging. Excess lint buildup, dirt, and debris are the main reasons for a full dryer vent clog. However, it can happen because of an obstruction such as dryer sheets, a bird nest, or rat dwellings. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to remove the reason for the clogging before it causes bigger issues.
Expect the dryer duct cleaning cost to be $100 to $300 if you notice wet lint. Wet lint is usually the result of poor improper ventilation that causes the dryer to condense and create moisture. The condensation, moisture, and lint collect in the dryer’s exhaust system and leak back into the dryer after it turns off and wet the lint. To avoid this, make sure to inspect and clean your exhaust pipes at least once a year to ensure they function properly.
Bird Nest in Dryer Vent Removal
Professionals typically charge $150 to $400 to remove a bird nest from a dryer vent, a common problem for homeowners. Birds, squirrels, and other rodents often try to build nests in dryer vents because they provide ideal protection and warmth. However, the nesting material blocks debris from clothes from freely exiting, creating a blockage in the vents. If you notice any movement in the nests, you need to contact wildlife removal specialists to get rid of any birds, eggs, or animals living in the nest. Once they have removed the animals, a professional enters the stage to clean the vents from the remaining nest material and debris. To prevent other infestations and clogs of this type, seal the vent’s exit with covers and ventilation screens.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost by Location
The cost to clean a dryer vent varies based on where it is located in the home. For example, a dryer on the ground floor is easier to access than one on the second floor. A dryer vent located on the roof is even harder to access than either of those mentioned above. Knowing the prices based on location helps homeowners better determine what to expect based on their dryer configuration. Depending on where the dryer is, prices range from $100 to $175 for simple locations to $125 to $300 for tough-to-access areas.
|Basement||$100 - $175|
|First Floor||$100 - $175|
|Second Floor||$125 - $200|
|Roof||$150 - $300|
Basement Dryer Vent Cleaning
Dryer vents found in the basement are among the least expensive to clean at $100 to $175. The price is low for basements because accessing them tends to be simple. Since they are easy to access and tend to be close to exterior walls, professionals can reach them and clean them quickly. In most cases, a single professional can handle the job in a short time, which also keeps prices lower than in some locations.
First Floor Vent Cleaning
Another location that is easy to clean is dryer vents on the first floor, which tend to cost about $100 to $175 to clean. Like the basement, most first-floor dryer vents are easy to access. There is no need to go up stairs or work with long vents that extend a large distance. Since professionals can easily reach most of these vents, the price is less than in other locations. The process is typically quick and easy for someone with experience.
Second Floor Vent Cleaning
Moving up to the second floor, vent cleaning is about $125 to $200. The price is higher because accessing the vent can be more complicated as you move higher. Additional tools may be needed, and cleaning the area may take longer. This increases the cost of labor. In many cases, the vents go out of an attic or side wall that is harder to reach. If the vent is longer than usual, more frequent cleaning may be needed.
Roof Dryer Vent Cleaning
The cost to clean out the dryer vent on the roof is $150 to $300 per vent due to their inconvenient location. Roof vents are more likely to accumulate debris and are more exposed to the elements. They clog more than regular vents. The higher price of the roof dryer vent is because it takes longer to reach and clean these areas on the outside instead of indoor vents that are easier to reach and clean. The more inaccessible the vent is, the higher the cost will be.
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Dryer Vent Cleaning Service Cost by Company
Several companies offer dryer vent cleaning services for $75 to $250. Every company offers a different service package that may include one-time cleaning, cleaning a dryer vent with another machine, inspection, and yearly services. A few of the most popular companies that provide these types of cleaning services in the U.S. are Sears, Dryer Vent Wizard, and Coit. The cleaning service package you can expect and how much they charge for them are explained below.
|Stanley Steemer||$75 - $175|
|Dryer Vent Wizard||$100 - $250|
|Sears||$125 - $225|
|Coit||$150 - $250|
Stanley Steemer Dryer Vent Cleaning
Stanley Steemer offers dryer vent cleaning for $75 to $175. This company is NADCA certified and focuses on creating a cleaner home. An inspection is included in the cost, after which a HEPA-filtered vacuum and a high-powered blower are used to remove any lint or debris from the vent. The vents are then cleaned to offer dryer vents that work like new again. The technicians with the company can also share other ways to improve the air quality inside your home.
Dryer Vent Wizard
Dryer vent cleaning services provided by Dryer Vent Wizard typically cost between $100 and $250. However, the cost varies depending on the issue at hand. The main service they provide is dryer vent cleaning, but they can also provide services like inspections, installations, and repairs of dryers. When you experience a problem with your dryer vent, a Dryer Vent Wizard technician comes and performs a full diagnostic inspection for free. Then, based on the identified problem, they provide you with an estimate and recommended solutions.
Sears Dryer Vent Cleaning
Sears Dryer Vent cleaning services cost $125 to $225. Sears is a company that offers various home services, including repairs, home improvement, cleaning and maintenance, and home warranty. Sears will clean the full length of the vent from the dryer to the outside of the home. Technicians use high-pressure air and professional tools to loosen all lint and collect it for removal to ensure the safety of your dryer. This company provides a free consultation and inspection.
Coit Dryer Vent Cleaning
Cleaning dryer vent ducts through Coit Cleaning & Restoration costs between $150 and $250. They are a cleaning services provider with more than 70 years of experience in the industry. A complimentary inspection is included with services. Coit uses a HEPA-Aire™ vacuum and Aire-Sweep™ compressor system to clean the lint and debris from dryer vents, ensuring the air quality stays at a high level. One of the biggest advantages they offer is their 100%-satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the results of your residential cleaning services, they reclean it or refund the cost you have paid.
Average Cost of Dryer Vent Cleaning
Labor for cleaning out the dryer vent pipe costs $65 to $150. This amount is around 83% of the total price for dryer vent cleaning, $80 to $175. The remaining amount is the cost of materials. The most important factor in the cost is who does the cleaning, whether it’s a professional company or an individual contractor. Typically, this is a one-person project that takes less than an hour. Sometimes an additional helper may come for complex jobs like the upper floor, roof, or longer vents that take two to three hours to clean.
The cleaning process starts with the professional unplugging the dryer and turning the supply valve off. After cleaning the lint by hand, the contractor uses a vacuum or a brush to clean the vent. When using a vacuum, they insert the hose attachment in the vent to vacuum the lint and clean the duct as much as possible. When the vacuum is too short to clean the duct, the contractor feeds the brush into the duct and moves it back and forth while rotating it. If needed, they extend the brush. Once the vents are clean, the contractor reconnects the dryer, pushes it back in place, and does a small 15- to 20-minute test to ensure it is functioning properly.
Companies and individual contractors that provide washer and dryer cleaning services charge different flat rates based on several factors. For instance, cleaning the second floor or roof vents costs more than cleaning the basement and first-floor vents. The type of wire coil ducts affects the cost of cleaning. Foil and plastic are harder to clean, so the contractor charges more to clean them. Sometimes, a bird nest or rodent or insect infestation causes the price to double, depending on the severity of the infestation.
Dryer Vent Inspection Cost
Inspecting a dryer vent costs between $30 and $60, depending on the length and location of your vent. The inspector will check the dryer and its installation to ensure it is safe to operate. The professional inspects the vent and looks for a buildup of dust, lint, and debris. In addition, they check for leaks, holes, and cracks. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that the dryer vents be inspected at least once a year. However, if you use your dryer regularly, it is a good idea to schedule an inspection twice a year.
Some professionals who offer vent cleaning include the cost of the inspection in the cleaning cost. Others have a separate inspection price or require you have a certain dollar amount in services before the inspection is free. The inspection is largely done to look for health, safety, and fire hazards based on non-compliant materials, improper vent construction, or obstructions. The most common source of problems is a buildup of lint.
Clogged Dryer Vent Symptoms
Keep an eye for signs that the dryer vent needs cleaning to ensure your home is safe from fire hazards. Some common indicators that it is time to clean it include feeling that the laundry room is warmer than usual or the clothes come out either much warmer and drier than normal or damp after a normal cycle. Other issues caused by a clogged dryer vent include the lint filter filling up quickly, your electricity bills spiking without reason, or the most noticeable, a musty or unpleasant smell from recently dried clothes.
If you notice that the dryer is taking longer to get clothing dry, this could mean the vent is closed. Homeowners may also notice a vent in a strange place, such as around a doorway, on clothes, and at the back of the dryer. For those who own pets, pet hair may also be found on clothing when the drying is done. Other signs of a clogged dryer vent include a burning smell in the room with the dryer, finding no lint or lint on the wrong side of the filter, or overheating that causes the dryer to switch off.
Why Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, failure to clean the dryer (34%) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires. Moreover, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35M in property loss. This shows the importance of proper maintenance and regular cleaning of the dryer for your home and family’s safety.
To avoid the risk of a clogged dryer vent fire hazard from happening, the USFA recommends cleaning the lint filter before and after each load of laundry, especially the back side where lint is most likely to build up. Additionally, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least twice a year to prevent it from clogging. To ensure you get all the dryer vent cleaning benefits, you should also make sure to clean the vent pipe from lint every three months. Most importantly, have your dryer inspected by a professional at least once every 12 months, especially if you notice that the clothes take longer to dry than usual.
To ensure proper dryer maintenance, check the venting system behind the dryer to make sure it is not restricted or damaged and that the outdoor vent covering opens properly when the dryer is on. To protect the dryer from the outside, keep the area around the dryer free of flammable materials and put a covering on the outside wall dampers to keep out snow, dirt, and rain.
There are several signs of improper dryer vent maintenance. The first is an infestation of pests when lint is built up on the vent cover. Blocked lines can also grow mold due to the moisture never making it outside. When maintenance is not done regularly, the dryer could overheat and lead to the need for electrical work. Carbon monoxide can also leak from a dryer and get into the home, which is dangerous for humans. Dryer fires can also be caused and necessitate cleanup from smoke and fire.
When actively using the dryer, give it time to rest between each load. In most cases, 15 to 20 minutes is enough for the dryer to cool off and be ready for the next round. To make cleaning easier, replace a coiled wire (accordion style) with a solid, non-ribbed metal duct. Using a liquid fabric softener is also a good idea to reduce the amount of dirt and debris accumulated with each cycle. It softens the clothes and makes them easier to dry, minimizing the time needed to dry them.
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Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Dryer Vent Repair
The cost to repair a dryer vent depends on the issue at hand, but you can expect to pay $75 to $150 to get a broken dryer vent repaired. As with the installation, it is always advisable to hire an HVAC professional to do the repair. Aside from taking care of the repair, the professional may detect other problems with the dryer installation or parts and suggest ways to fix them.
Disinfectant fog in a dryer costs homeowners between $50 and $100. A disinfectant fog is pumped into the dryer’s air system to eliminate a bad odor and microbiological contaminants inside the ductwork or other parts of the system. Fogging is used in many industries to clean tight or hard-to-reach areas. It is recommended to use fogging as an additional measure after cleaning because it is not a replacement for the dryer vent cleaning.
Reroute Dryer Vent
Rerouting a dryer vent costs about $200 to $500 if no additional changes are made to the home. Costs vary based on how easy or difficult it is to reach the unit. The main reason to reroute the dryer vent is that the hose has several bends and does not run to the outside as it should. There are several reasons to reroute a dryer vent. However, it largely comes down to wanting a shorter connection between the dryer and the outside of the home.
Bird Guard Installation
The average cost to install a bird guard is about $30 to $100. Bird guards are a tool placed on the dryer vent to prevent birds and other animals from climbing into the home. These guards come in plastic or metal and are installed over the vent for a dryer. Many also double as a bathroom exhaust vent cover. Some professionals install them at a discount if several vents need to be covered in one trip.
Lint Alert System
A lint alert system costs $150 to $250, including installation. This system is installed to detect insufficient airflow in the vent based on bird nests, leaves, or lint buildup. If a clog is detected, a beep informs the homeowner of an issue. Some include other alerts, such as setting off an alert if the temperature is too high. These are often easy to install and operate using a battery.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- DIY. You can buy a dryer vent cleaning kit for around $20 to $70 and clean the vent on your own. Most kits are made for manual cleaning. Some models are attached to a drill and should be used for cleaning only solid vent ducts. If your vents are installed on a roof, have multiple 90-degree turns, or have a complex installation, make sure you hire a professional to do the cleaning.
- Types and materials of a vent. The three types of dryer vents to choose from are slim, rigid, and semi-rigid. Slim is used for small spaces, rigid is the most efficient, and semi-rigid is the least expensive. Prices for vent cleaning are the same regardless of type. However, the length and number of bends in the material impact the cost. The same applies to materials. While several are available, this does not impact vent cleaning costs.
- Package deals. Every company offers different packages. Some offer discounts when cleaning two products or combining two services. Ask about what the package includes before agreeing on a price with a specific contractor.
- Home location. If you hire a company farther away from where you live, expect to pay extra for the contractor’s mileage. Dryer cleaning costs in metropolitan areas, especially those around the Northeast and Northwest, are higher than the cost in smaller towns or rural areas in the Midwest and South.
- Certification. Make sure the cleaners are certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) or Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
- Things to avoid. To ensure the vent functions properly, do not use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or overload it. Do not use a cloth or wire screen to cover the wall damper. Do not dry anything that contains foam, rubber, or plastic, items with a “dry away from heat” label, glass fiber materials, flammable materials, or items that have been in contact with anything flammable.
- Permit. A professional who works cleaning dryer vents may be required to have a permit. However, this varies by location. In some places, only a business license may be needed to provide the service.
- Should you get a dryer vent professionally cleaned?
While a homeowner can clean a dryer vent on their own, there are good reasons to have a professional handle the process. A deep professional cleaning reduces the fire risk caused by excess amounts of lint. In addition, the professional who cleans it can look for any other issues with the dryer.
- What causes a clogged dryer vent?
The main cause of a clogged dryer vent is a buildup of lint in the vent system. In newer homes, dryers may be a few feet away from an outside wall. The longer vent can have bends that collect lint. When lint accumulates in the vent, it clogs and restricts air flow. This can also be a safety hazard, so the vents should be cleaned regularly.
- Is dryer vent cleaning worth it?
Dryer cleaning is not only worth it, but you should do it regularly to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone else in the house. A clogged vent can cause many issues, with some of the more severe ones being fire and structural damage.
- How often should a dryer vent be cleaned?
The USFA recommends cleaning your dryer vent at least once every 12 months. However, this may need to be done more often if the dryer is used often for several people. For example, for a home of four that does a large amount of laundry, it may be best to clean the vent every three to four months.
- Can I clean my dryer vent myself?
DIY cleaning is possible with cleaning kits you can buy at different suppliers for $15 to $50. However, if your dryer is gas-supplied, a licensed professional must be hired for the cleaning. They have the knowledge needed to clean the vents and place the dryer in a position that ensures its unobstructed operation. A license is mandatory in some states for any gas appliance installation and repair, so make sure to check your local regulations beforehand.
- How do I know if my dryer vent needs cleaning?
When you notice the clothes take longer to dry, do not dry well, or are too dry, the dryer vent may need cleaning. Other signs that the dryer needs cleaning are when your electricity bills spike, the dryer or clothes produce a weird smell, or the laundry room is warmer than usual.
- What is included in dryer vent cleaning?
Different companies have varying services in their dryer vent cleaning package. Basic services include preparing the dryer for cleaning, cleaning it, and returning it to full function. The contractor may offer a package that includes cleaning other appliances, before and after photos, annual maintenance, and more.
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