If you’re  like us, you would rather do anything besides clean your home in the spring.

But what if you could earn $288?

That’s right, you can “earn” money by cleaning your home this spring. It’s estimated that cleaning your dryer vent once a year can lead to annual energy bill savings of up to $288. And after all, a penny saved is a penny earned!

Money is always a great motivator. Aside from the cost-saving advantages, cleaning your dryer vent protects your home from disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 15,000 house fires are caused by overheated dryers every year. The household dryer is actually one of the riskiest appliances to keep in your home. Whether your dryer is living up to its name or not, cleaning your dryer vent saves energy, time, and money.

Does My Dryer Vent Need Cleaned?

If it takes longer than 50 minutes for your dryer to do its job (and the load isn’t completely made up of blue jeans), you may be at risk for a dryer fire. The NFPA says 32 percent of all home clothes dryer and washer fires are caused by a failure to clean regularly. Additionally, dryer fires cost property owners over $238 million in property damages last year, so a clean dryer vent can save you money on more than just your energy bill.

How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

There are dryer vent cleaning options for every ability, dryer, schedule and budget:

  1. Self-contained lint brushes can be purchased for as little as $5 from Home Depot and are best used for regular maintenance and up-keep.
  2. Lint removing kits often include vacuum attachments, telescoping and bendable brush arms, and a specially designed brush head. Depending on the time between cleanings, a lint removing kit might be in your best interest.
  3. If you’re not planning to add ‘dryer vent cleaning’ to your annual spring cleaning checklist, you can have a professional do it for you. The most expensive of these three options, professional dryer vent cleaning may be the best bet for hard-to-reach, impossibly long or otherwise awkward dryer vent systems.

The clothes dryer takes about 6 percent of an average home’s total electricity usage, making it one of the most expensive appliances to use in your home. A clogged air vent restricts air flow, which necessitates more energy to do the same job. Removing that lint will ultimately help prolong the life of your dryer by allowing it to breathe properly and keeping it from working too hard. Yes, just like humans and plants, your dryer needs room to breathe!

When preparing to clean your dryer vent for the first time, take a look at how long your vent duct is and find the vent exit point on the outside of your home. You may be alarmed at how much (or how little) lint dust is removed for the first time. Regular maintenance, minimally once per year, will make a huge difference both in your pocketbook and your back pocket.