How Much Does Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost?
$140 – $225
Average Cost t0 Clean Dryer Vent Duct
The average dryer vent cleaning cost by a local company is $179 when no additional issues, such as a bird nest, are found. DIY dryer vent cleaning kits have an average cost of $27.
The cost generally includes moving the dryer, cleaning both the interior surfaces as well as the exterior surface where the dryer vent duct leaves your home, as well as a thorough cleaning of the hidden vent duct itself.
(Image courtesy of Practically Functional)
Overview and the Importance of Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning
The buildup of lint inside your dryer vent is inevitable. Moist air leaving the dryer coats the inside of the vent duct or pipe, and it easily collects lint and other debris.
There are serious problems that commonly occur:
- Clothes take longer to dry when the pathway for the moist air to leave the dryer is partially or fully blocked. This is the most common clue that your dryer ductwork needs to be cleaned. Longer drying cycles will increase your energy costs and potentially cause mechanical failure to the overworked dryer.
- Mold develops in moist lint stuck to the inside of the vent duct.
- Carbon monoxide can leak from a gas dryer when the vent is blocked.
- A dryer fire is caused by trapped lint getting hot enough to combust. Dryer fires are are more common than you might think.
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), “2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.”
Several other reliable sources put the number of dryer fires closer to 15,000 annually.
The USFA recommends cleaning the filter after every load and cleaning the dryer vent duct every year. If you have a coiled wire (accordion style) duct, you should replace it with solid, non-ribbed metal duct that is easier to clean and doesn’t have nooks to trap lint.
This page of Costimates looks at costs, cost factors and whether DIY is an option. We’ve collected costs from other estimate sites too. Feel free to add your clothes dryer vent cleaning cost to the list below if you’re a professional or a homeowner that has recently had the work done.
Dryer Duct Cleaning Service Cost Details
A few basic factors determine your clothes dryer vent cleaning price.
- Vent Location – One dryer vent cleaning company charges a standard fee for basement and first-floor vents, $25 more for second-floor vents and $35 extra for roof vents. That’s a typical pricing schedule based on location. If the vent is under a deck and being cleaned from outside, expect a higher cost estimate for cleaning.
- Vent Length – Longer vent ducts take more time to clean, so cost goes up.
- Coil-type or Sheet Metal – The wire coil ducts covered with foil or plastic are harder to clean because lint and debris must be removed from all the crevices. They are also easier to break, so extra care must be taken. For these reasons, cost is higher.
- 90-Degree Turns – Most vents have one turn. When there are more turns, the work takes longer, raising the cost estimate.
- Bird’s Nest, Rodents or Insects – Dryer vent cleaners report all sorts of infestations in ductwork. These cause the price to rise by as much as 100% or more.
- Where you Live – Clothes dryer vent cleaning prices follow the cost of living. It is higher in AK, HI and major metropolitan areas, especially in the Northeast and Northwest. It is lowest in small towns and rural areas of the Midwest and South.
- Who Does the Work – DIY works costs only the price of the tool. For pros, most handyman services charge less than specialty duct cleaning companies.
Cost of DIY Kits
There are a few types of DIY dryer vent cleaning tools. Here’s a brief summary and their cost.
- $15 – $20 | The cheapest dryer vent cleaning kits are made for vents up to 12 feet long. They might have a single braided wire handle or a multi-piece flexible handle. Most are manual, but some can be attached to a drill. We recommend a drill only for cleaning solid vent duct. A brush for the lint filter opening and/or a vacuum attachment for cleaning the filter opening are included in some kits.
- $28 – $55 | The designs are the same, but the handles are 16 to 24 feet long. A second brush head and other accessories are typically included.
Keep in mind, it’s good to have a quality indoor/outdoor vacuum when cleaning dryer ducts as well. There can be quite a bit of messy lint, and having a powerful vacuum to keep the mess down will help considerably.
Permits, Inspection, and Labor Costs
- $0 | Dryer vent duct cleaning does not require a permit.
This is a job one person can handle, though sometimes a helper comes too.
- 45-60 Minutes | Duct up to 12 feet. Ground floor vent. Easy access. No obstructions.
- 60-90 Minutes | Longer ducts, either on an upper floor or with an obstruction that must be cleared.
- 2-3 Hours | Longer ducts on an upper floor and with an obstruction in the duct.
DIY or Hire a Pro
This is a home maintenance job most moderately handy homeowners can successfully complete. We recommend watching a tutorial video or two before starting. Also read the directions included with the cleaning kit, and follow them carefully.
Pro Tips: Use duct or electrical tape to secure the joints where handle pieces fit together and where the brush head attaches. This reduces the risk of the handle coming apart or the brush head falling off deep in your dryer vent duct (a hassle many homeowners report happened to them).
Secondly, the longer the handle, the harder the brush is to control and the more likely the handle or head will become disconnected. Therefore, if you have access to both ends of the dryer vent duct, use a shorter handle and clean the duct from both ends.
Thirdly, cleaning from the outside creates less mess inside. Another option is keep your shop vac running and inserted a few feet into the duct as you brush loose the lint and debris. Some kits have a duct opening cover with holes for the brush handle and vacuum.
There are times when calling a duct cleaning company is a better choice, for example, when a vent is fully clogged or has bird/bee/rodent infestation.