There are a bunch of signs you can look for that indicate your dryer vent has become clogged. But before we get into those let’s look at some of the reasons why the vent is getting clogged in the first place. Because if you are aware of the cause you can often times prevent the problem, reduce the risk of fire and fend off the need for dryer vent cleaning.
Reasons You Keep Needing Dryer Vent Cleaning
Dry vents are like garage door openers. Both things go about their business without much fanfare and nobody pays them much attention to them. Until something goes wrong. But if you know why your dryer vent is clogging up you can help prevent the likelihood of a devastating fire. Here are the most common reasons your dryer vent is clogged up:
- A dirty lint trap - The lint trap snags lint that is produced by the drying process and prevents it from ending up in the dryer vent. But if you fail to clean the lint trap regularly and it winds up clogged itself any and all lint is then going to bypass it and go right into the vent. A little bit of lint is going to find its way into the vent every time you run the dryer. It’s inevitable. But if you don’t keep the trap clean the amount of lint that goes into the vent will be greatly increased. So make sure you clean the lint trap every time you use the dryer. No buts.
- The vent flap is stuck closed - The vent flap is located at the end of the vent on the exterior of the house. When hot damp air from the dryer is pushed through the vent the flap opens and lets it escape, along with any lint that might be in that hot air. Sometimes however, the vent flap can become stuck in the closed position. And when it does all that hot, damp, lint-laden air backs up in the vent and any and all lint clings to the inside of the vent hose, clogging it up. You can prevent this by simply checking the vent flap regularly to make sure it’s operating properly.
- Things are stuck in the lint trap - All kinds of things can get caught in the lint trap besides lint. If you had paper receipts in your shirt pocket that got washed and then put in the dryer, they can turn into dry little flakes that wind up in the lint trap. Coins are another culprit that often wind up clogging the lint trap. The more paper, plastic, coins and other items stuck in the lint trap the less capable it is of actually trapping lint. And when that happens the lint goes right into the vent and clogs it up. So, again, check to make sure the lint trap is clean every time you use the dryer.
- Time - As we mentioned there is no way to stop tiny bits of lint from getting into the vent every time the dryer is used. Over the course of a week or a month this is no big deal. Even if you use the dryer every day. Over the course of a year, or two years however, you could be looking at a real problem. And that’s even if you clean the lint trap every time you use the dryer and the vent flap never gets stuck. After a while the lint can accumulate to such a degree that it prevents heat from escaping and this is when you enter the realm of the dryer vent fire. Making sure you practice the above steps can slow down the process of lint accumulating in the vent. But at some point you’ll need to hire a professional to engage in vent cleaning.
Warning Signs of a Clogged Dryer Vent
Vent cleaning and air duct cleaning in Denver are often confused. But while they’re both essential home maintenance a clogged dryer vent actually represents a real threat to life and limb. Here are some signs to look for that indicate it’s time to call for dryer vent cleaning:
- It takes forever to dry your clothes - When the vent is clogged the hot wet air has nowhere to go. As a result your clothes just keep spinning in the damp atmosphere and aren’t really dry at the end of the cycle. This is a classic sign something is wrong.
- The outside of the dryer is very hot - If, at the end of the cycle, the dryer is extremely hot to the touch it’s a sign the vent is clogged and the heat isn’t being exhausted properly. Besides indicating a possible fire hazard this can also shorten the life of the dryer.
- There’s lint on the ground outside the vent - If you see lint on the ground outside the house where the vent cover is it indicates there’s lots of lint in the vent itself.
- Something smells like it’s burning - Sometimes lint in the vent tube will smolder before it actually bursts into flames. If you notice a burning smell when drying your clothes turn the dryer off immediately and call Steve’s for dryer vent cleaning.
If you use your dryer often and haven’t had it cleaned in over a year call Steve’s today for vent cleaning. Dryer vent fires are no joke and result in lost lives and tens of millions of dollars in property damage every year.