How to Tell If Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

If there was an award for the most ignored thing in America, dryer vents would have a serious shot at winning. For whatever reason, homeowners tend to forget that their dryer vents need the occasional cleaning, and that this will not only make their dryer work better but also will keep their home safer.

With that in mind, here are four ways to tell your dryer vent might need cleaning:

1. Your dryer is taking a long time to dry clothes.

The air vent is used by the dryer to allow moist air to escape—that’s how your clothes get dry. If you have a plugged up vent, the air can’t escape and the moisture is effectively trapped inside your dryer leading to much higher drying times. Needless to say, this is also making your dryer work harder than it has to, causing unnecessary wear and tear. It also wastes electricity. If you notice clothes that used to take one cycle now need to be run through the dryer again, this is a pretty clear sign that you might have a clogged vent.

2. You smell something weird (burning type smell).

This is a pretty clear sign that something isn’t working as it should be. As heat builds up in your dryer and can’t escape, that smell could be lint in the hose burning up, or in a worse case scenario even your clothes.

3. You see lint outside of your vent.

Lint should really be getting caught in your dryer’s lint filter. If you see pieces of lint coming out of the vent, that likely means that there’s some kind of buildup in the system and there’s more lint in your vent that could use some cleaning.

4. It’s been over a year since you’ve cleaned your dryer vent.

It’s true, some dryers are very efficient at catching lint and almost never have clogged air duct issues. But it’s impossible to know if yours is one of these unless you occasionally open up the vent to check it out. Cleaning your dryer vent should really be a regular activity, such as cleaning out your gutters in the fall, or checking your fire extinguisher once a year.

Because a clogged dryer vent can present not only an inconvenience but also a hazard to your and your family, we recommend you take this list seriously. Need to make an appointment to get your dryer vent checked out? Reach out to us today to set up an appointment.