Dirty dryer exhaust fan 1

Cleaning the dryer exhaust fan and ducts in your condo

Over the years we have cleaned the dryer exhaust ductwork in literally thousands of condos throughout the GTA. Many times we do this work for the building’s management company and in this case we would clean the dryer exhaust ductwork and the fan in every suite throughout the building.

We very often work directly with individual condominium owners as well. We can clean the dryer exhaust system on any floor, because for this type of job we must use our portable vacuum equipment. What we do is bring our equipment right up to your door, and then run our hoses into your suite during the cleaning process.

The dryer exhaust fan is usually accessed through an existing trap door in the ceiling of your laundry room, and is controlled by a regular wall-mounted light switch. Before we touch anything, every fan is first tested to confirm its operation. During this 30 second test, we learn how well the exhaust system is working, and if the fan is making excess noise.

We then remove the fan completely, and use that opening to insert the hose from our portable vacuum system. Compressed air is then used, along with our high-powered air snake, and that device goes inside the pipe, all the way to the exhaust outlet on the side of the building, and in the process blows all the lint from your system back torwards the vacuum.

The exhaust duct is cleaned thoroughly, including the pipe that leads directly from your clothes dryer to the fan. Any in-line lint traps are cleaned as well. We also clean the fan itself, as this is a crucial part of the cleaning process.

The outside grill where your dryer vents is cleaned in most cases. If there is any possible way for us to reach the vent then we will clean it with compressed air. In some cases it is necessary to install another access door in an existing bulkhead or drywall box inside your suite to allow us to clean this vent, but this is in extreme cases.

The dryer exhaust fan sometimes serves as the same exhaust fan for a nearby washroom, so in these cases we must also clean the pipe leading from the fan box to any attached washrooms.

When we do this job on behalf of your property management company, there is always a pre-arranged price. But when we do this for an individual suite owner, we charge hourly for this service. Because most of our time is spent actually setting up our equipment and packing it up again when we’re done, many owners also choose to have us clean other systems in their suite while we are there. We also do washroom exhaust systems, kitchen exhaust systems as needed, and often clean and deodorize any ducted HVAC system in the suite as well.

dirty-dryer-exhaust-fan1

This is a typical dryer exhaust fan that you would see in most condos throughout the GTA. The owner called us because she was having dryer exhaust blowing into one of her washrooms whenever she used the clothes dryer. This was happening because her exhaust fan was not working, and also the exhaust pipe leading from the fan to the outside was about 80% full of lint.

This fan motor was actually seized completely and was not in working condition when we arrived. We could have cleaned this fan perfectly in about a minute while our equipment was there, but in this case the owner absolutely needed to have a new fan installed.

The fan that is shown above is a very extreme case. The rust on the casing is rarely seen and it was obvious that this fan had not worked in years. It even had mold growing on it. The amount of lint on the fan itself is something that we do see quite often. This would more than likely be due to the fact that most people wait until there is a problem before they call for this type of service… out of sight, out of mind!

new-dryer-exhaust-fan

This is what your dryer exhaust / washroom exhaust fan should look like when it is properly cleaned.

We returned at a later date to replace the motor and also ended up replacing the flexible dryer exhaust hose with a fire-retardant material and installed a quality commercial (steel) lint trap on the wall that has a plexiglass door and a screen attached. This is easily cleaned by the homeowner, and will help protect the fan and the exhaust pipe from getting dirty as quickly. You’d be surprised at the amount of lint that actually gets past the lint trap in your dryer!

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