A clogged dryer vent can cause your dryer to take hours to dry your clothes, break your dryer, and even start a house fire. After having cleaned hundreds of dryer vents, I have come to realize that there are a few signs that a dryer vent may be clogged. If you see one or more of these signs, it is important to clean out the entire vent line. The signs are:
Your clothes take longer than about forty minutes — or multiple cycles — to dry even on high heat. This is by far the number one thing that homeowners tell me when they have a clogged or very dirty vent line. If you have a suspicion that it is taking longer to dry your clothes than it should, you may have a lint blockage.
Your dryer is shutting off automatically before your clothes are dry. The dryer may have an internal overheat sensor. If there is reduced air flow in your dryer vent line, many dryers simply turn off when it can’t handle the heat. Computers have a similar overheat safety mechanism dryer vent cleaning.
An indicator light turns on. In newer dryer models, a sensor turns on if it senses restricted airflow. This is a great feature that comes with new dryers, but without yearly maintenance, hidden damage to the dryer is still possible prior to the indicator light turning on.
When you look at the flapper on the outside cover, it is clear that little or no air is coming out when the dryer is on. When no air is blowing to the outside, all of the heat is getting trapped somewhere inside the wall. The air blowing to the outside should be robust, and you should be able to hear a strong airflow. If the airflow is weak, it is a lint blockage just waiting to happen.
When you take out your lint screen, you notice there is still lint inside the dryer itself which is symptomatic of a vent line problem. It is a common misconception that the lint screen will catch all the lint. I have literally taken two trash bags of lint from a single dryer vent line. It is important to clean the lint screen before each dryer load, but this will not solve long-term lint buildup in the vent line.
Your dryer vibrates or shakes when your sure it isn’t a mechanical problem. If you recently had your dryer serviced, a rattling dryer may signal reduced airflow which in turn causes the dryer to work harder to run.
If your laundry room feels warmer or more humid than normal. This signals that the heat and moisture isn’t escaping the dryer adequately and a vent cleaning is urgent.
When you notice any of these signs, it is very important to schedule a dryer vent cleaning by a professional company. Companies that specialize in dryer vent cleaning have industrial cables that can brush all of the lint stuck on the duct wall and blow it outside. An annual dryer vent cleaning can make a noticeable different to the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes as well as greatly extend the life of your dryer.