Cleaning Dryer Vents

My clothes take a long time to dry and I'm wondering if the vent could be blocked.  I tried cleaning it with a vacuum but can't get too far.  Is there an easy way to clean a dryer duct yourself?
Laurie in Kalamazoo MI

Yes, there is if you have a right tool.  I use an inexpensive dryer duct cleaning tool called the Gardus Lint Eater.  It is a series of flexible piping that link together and has a big brush on the end.  It snakes its way through your drier venting system and will get rid of all of those dangerous lint bunnies lurking in the vent. 

Cleaning your dryer vent is an important maintenance job.  If ducts are blocked or restricted, the dryer has to run all that much longer to dry your clothes, running up electric and gas bills in the process.  More importantly, blocked dryer ducts are a real danger.  Over 15,000 dryer fires occur each year, many as the result of dirty ducts.

Lastly, it is also important to replace plastic or vinyl dryer ducts with metal duct material, which is sturdy, easy to clean and safe.