If you notice that your clothes dryer is taking longer to dry your clothes, it is probably time to clean out your dryer vent.
Step 1: Pull the dryer away from the wall, unplug the dryer cord or shut off the gas supply line.
Step 2: Loosen the clamp holding the flexible vent line to the back of the dryer and remove the vent line.
Step 3: If there is an elbow coming off the back of the dryer, remove that also.
Step 4: Use your hand to clear out any large clumps of lint on the inside of the dryer and inside the elbow and vent line.
Step 5: Use a vacuum to clear any remaining lint inside the dryer, elbow and vent line.
Step 6: Go outside and remove the cover on the dryer exhaust vent and clean the area. If possible, use a vacuum to clear the vent line from the outside also.
Step 7: If you have a dryer vent cleaning brush, leave the exhaust vent cover off and go back inside.
Step 8: Carefully work the dryer vent brush through the dryer vent line and out the dryer exhaust vent opening. If done properly, this should serve to get the accumulated lint out of the vent line and out of the house at the same time. If the vent line is exceedingly long, you will need to use the vent brush from both the inside and the outside to assure the bulk of the line is clear. Gardus makes a drill-powered lint-clearing device, which works well for longer vent lines. For vent lines less than 20 feet, a hand-operated vent-cleaning brush is more than adequate.
Step 9: Once the vent line has been cleared, hook it to the back of the dryer and tighten the clamp to hold it in place.
Step 10: Plug the dryer in or turn on the gas supply.
Step 11: Turn the dryer on low and run it for a few minutes to make sure everything is in proper working condition. Running the dryer before reattaching the exhaust vent cover will assure any additional debris is blown out of the dryer and vent line.
Push the dryer back into place, put away your tools and find something else to do, knowing that your home is a little safer and your dryer is a lot more energy-efficient.