The problem for many people moving into a new house is that it was not constructed with their clothes dryer in mind. The long and winding route the ductwork travels does not seem to be ideal for safe and efficient venting. FEMA is reporting that “failure to clean” is still the leading cause of clothes dryer fires and – when you look at those vents – you think you know why!
It is quite simply impossible for homeowners to do any regular routine cleaning of lengthy and elbowed metal ducts. They absolutely require more frequent cleanings and inspections by venting professionals to prevent ‘residential structure fires’. They just present too many corners for lint and other combustibles to pile up in, and normal vacuum cleaners cannot help.
Long convoluted vents also cut down on the efficiency of the dryer, which increases the expense of using it. Since they are not adequately removing the dryer’s expelled moisture from the home, their inefficiency has consequences for other ventilation as well. More dampness in the air means a greater risk of mold, and there is less likelihood that you will see it.
You are absolutely right! You do need to realign the dryer vent, so that it takes a short straight route to an exterior wall. That will vastly improve the dryer’s venting, which improves both air quality and fire safety. You want to stick with smooth metal ducts and accessible screens that you can easily clear and clean as often as you need to.
You also want to involve a certified venting professional right at the start, since this is definitely a major change in the system. However, your new home necessarily underwent lots of inspection prior to closing. So, if you do this right, you will be in great shape. You will not need another inspection of your venting system for a full year and you may not need the cleaning that others fail to do.