Free Dryer Vent Cleaning may not be Free

Free dryer vent cleaning

“Free is a very good price” is something I heard often growing up watching Tom Peterson commercials.  And although it proved to be a very good sales pitch from this legendary Portland icon, something about being free has always struck me as nothing more than a way to lure people in.  And all these many hears later, the lure still works, and the results are often still the same.

I received a recent phone call from a customer who decided it was about time to get the air ducts in their home cleaned.  I don’t do this particular work for various reasons, but I continued to listen as he explained part of the process was getting their dryer duct cleaned for free.  A very good price as some would say.  Unfortunately, ever since that was done, the dryer has only been operating worse and so this customer was in desperate need of getting this problem resolved.

Now as I tell people, cleaning the dryer duct for free is kind of like french fries.  They are the loss leader to get you to buy the more expensive and profitable hamburger.  The vent cleaning company wants to sell you the air duct cleaning process for a few hundred dollars and as a added bonus, the dryer duct is free.  The problem is, how much time and knowledge is going into the free portion of the job.  I on the other hand only sell french fries.  I do one thing, resolving dryer vent problems, and I do it well.  Are my french fries more expensive?  Yup. But the process is all quality.

So upon arrival the customer was very interested in seeing what the outcome would be because he was sure the problem occurred due to the previous cleaning, and as the photo above attests, he was correct.  Now I don’t want to disparage the work of the air duct cleaner because I am sure he did a fine job on the air ducts. But dryer ducts are very different things and yes, sometimes you can run a brush through and all is well. And other times, more thought and care needs to be taken into consideration.

In the case of this dryer vent cleaning, the vent was simply more blocked than the quick 10 minute cleaning job was going to be able to affectively handle. And in trying to do the task at hand, the problem was actually made worse.  Not to worry though.  This vent problem was resolved with my version of a cleaning.  And a nice new transition hose was installed (likely the original reason for the excess lint buildup) as well as a new vent cover.