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What are the signs that you might need a dryer vent cleaning?

Cleaning the vent regularly will help ensure that your clothes are being dried in a timely manner and you aren’t wasting unnecessary energy. Extended drying times can even cause strain on your fabrics. A dryer that continues to run with a clogged vent can cause internal problems that require repairs.  A dryer vent needs to be cleaned regularly to enhance the dryer’s efficiency. Regular dryer vent cleaning helps to remove lint and other dirt and debris that are obstructing the dryer performance.

  • Clothes take too much time to dry or requires more than one cycle to dry.
  • When you clean out the lint trap there is no lint in it. (After every load there should be some lint.)
  • The dryer overheat sensor comes on. (Some of  the newer models of dryers have a sensor to let you know if you need to check the dryer vent for blockage.)
  • Clothes are very hot after the dryer cycle ends, which is a warning that the dryer is working extra hard, and may not be venting air properly.
  • The top of the dryer is hotter than normal when in use. (Most dryers should be warm or cool to the touch.)

If the dryer duct hood flap doesn’t open, you likely have lint build up there and in the dryer hose. This is a good time to clean out the lint – or have a professional do it for you.

When your dryer is properly installed, lint shouldn’t collect excessively in the exhaust vent or dryer hose, especially if you’re cleaning the dryer vent screen regularly after every use.

Your dryer drum shouldn’t need cleaning unless you regularly dry pet items or sandy, gritty clothes. Always proactively shake out any hair or grit, and maybe wipe down the drum with a damp cloth after drying these items.

Lint build-up does happen, however – and should be taken seriously. You should check it yourself regularly – or better yet have an HVAC professional give you a hand.

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