Supreme Air Duct Cleaning


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Everything You Need To Know About Dryer Vents

Supreme Air Duct Cleaning has cleaned thousands of dryer vents in the past 9 years. While many of our customers consider us to be the best dryer vent cleaners in Des Moines and the surrounding area, we continually find ways to become better. One way we are able to best serve our customers is by knowing, understanding and putting into practice the IRC code, Chapter 15 (Exhaust Systems) listed on the International Residential Code (IRC) website.Supreme_Air_Duct_Cleaning_Des_Moines_Dryer_Vent_Cleaning_333

It seems that not many contractors know or practice the codes when installing dryer vent lines as we seem many homes of newer construction that have questionable dryer vent lines. It is our hopes that this article will assist people to understand the codes so they can recognize the good from the bad. You must understand that following dryer vent code allows the dryer to function properly and safely, preventing fires which cause millions of dollars in damage and several human deaths each year.

Basically, there are Eleven code requirements that need to be followed:

  1. Clothes dryers must have their own dryer vent line. It can’t be shared with any other appliance, vent fan, chimney, etc. It must have its own vent line.

  2. The dryer vent line must exhaust to the outside of the house or structure. You do NOT want it venting into the garage or the attic. And do NOT vent it inside the house!

  3. The dryer vent exhaust exit point must be at least three feet away from doors and windows. You can also include the HVAC system fresh air intake. Not only can the warm, moist dryer exhaust air damage the HVAC system, it can be dangerous to the health. Remember that gas dryer fuel exhaust vents out with the dryer exhaust air.

  4. The dryer vent line material needs to be smooth and it needs to be made of water-resistant metal. The metal pipe starts at the hookup point in the wall and ends at the exit point outside.  The pipe needs to be made of 28-gauge metal and should be four inches in diameter. Do not use flexible transition duct material for the dryer vent line.

  5. Dryer vent lines need to be fastened to the building structure every twelve feet with the use of straps or fasteners designed to support the dryer vent line. If the vent line is not supported it can sag in the middle and water could build up and leak through a joint in the vent line, causing damage to the ceiling.

  6. The transition duct (flexible tube that connects the dryer to the dryer vent line in the wall) can’t be any longer than eight feet. The shorter the better. It cannot be concealed inside a wall or floor/ceiling. It must be exposed so that it can be inspected and replaced easily if necessary.

  7. The maximum length of a dryer vent line, the distance from the wall to the exterior of the structure, is thirty-five feet. Every ninety-degree elbow in the line takes away five feet. So, if you have two ninety-degree elbows in the dryer vent line, that is already considered ten feet.

  8. In new construction, before the walls are sealed, whoever installed the dryer vent line needs to leave a copy of the manufacturer instructions that show the maximum duct length and diameter.

  9. In new construction, if the length of the dryer vent line is longer than thirty-five feet, it needs to have a permanent tag indicating so.

  10. Once the dryer vent line has been installed and there is no dryer and may not be one for a while, the dryer vent opening needs to be capped and labeled “future use.”

  11. If the dryer vent line is in a location where nails or screws from other construction could penetrate, then protective plating needs to be installed on the framing.

Clothes Dryer Safety

When we provide our dryer vent cleaning in Des Moines service, we also provide tips to the customers to assist them in getting the most out of their dryer. We found a great little safety sheet from the “National Fire Protection Association” that covers dryer safety well:

  • Have a professional install your dryer.
  • Make sure the dryer has a lint filter.
  • Use a metal transition duct that is fireproof.
  • Make sure to clean the lint filter after every load.
  • Make sure the flaps on the vent cover open freely.
  • Have the dryer vent line cleaned by a professional yearly.
  • Keep the dryer in good condition.
  • Make sure to use the proper plug end for the power cord.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • Never leave the dryer running when you leave the house.
  • Make sure the dryer is properly grounded.
  • Keep plenty of air space around the dryer so you can get good air.
  • Do not dry clothes that have had contact with gasoline or other flammable substances.


Remember that the leading cause of home clothed dryer fires is failure to clean the dryer vent line.

Here at Supreme Air Duct Cleaning, we take dryer vent cleaning in Des Moines and central Iowa very seriously and we make sure our technicians are trained to not only clean the dryer vent lines but to inspect and test the dryer’s ability to exhaust the air used to dry the clothes.

We have a special testing instrument that measures the air flow. The lower the number, the lower the lower the air flow. The more build-up of lint in the dryer vent line or plugging the vent cap, the lower the air flow will be. Our testing tool will tell us that and we know there is a problem and we have to find it and take care of it.

We also check to see how dirty the back of the dryer is and we always inspect the transition tube to make sure it is clean and in good condition. We want to make sure when we leave, the dryer is operating at it’s highest level and is safe. That’s why our customers consider us to be the best dryer vent cleaning company in Des Moines.