A dryer vent may be one part of your home that stays out of sight and out of mind, but when these signs catch your attention, its time to take action. If you are aware of the conditions to watch out for, you will be able to monitor your system and prolong its life while also saving on energy costs and ensuring the safety of your home.
If you notice any of these signs, it is time to get your dryer vent checked and cleaned.
1. After a load of laundry has gone through the cycle, the clothes are still damp.
If the dryer is no longer working to its full potential, or you have recently noticed a decrease in its efficiency, this is most likely due to a blocked exhaust vent. A typical load of laundry should only take about 30 to 45 minutes for each load. A blocked air duct will result in more energy needed to dry a load, and the excess lint may also contribute to an air duct fire. Lower your energy costs and keep your home safe with a professional dryer vent cleaning.
2. The vent to the outside is not noticeably blowing air 12 inches from the home.
If you cannot feel the air blowing from your dryer vent at a distance of about a foot from the vent, the pathway from your appliance to the outdoors is seriously blocked. Removing the lint and cleaning the interior of the vent will increase the efficiency of the dryer vent.
3. The dryer feels hotter than usual when it is in use.
Have you noticed your laundry room heating up more than usual and the dryer is extremely hot to the touch? This is a sign that the appliance is being over worked and needs some attention. Left unnoticed, this overheating could lead to catching the lint on fire and igniting. Clothing that is extremely hot to touch after being dried is also a sign that the dryer is overheating.
4. You notice that your utility bill is suddenly higher than before.
Lower your energy bill immediately by cleaning out the dryer vents. If your vents are clogged, it will take longer to dry each load which will increase your energy bill. Some people even have to run the dryer multiple times to fully dry a load. The problem will not get better on its own, so it is best to catch it early and clean out the vent as soon as the problem is spotted.
5. The inside of the dryer vent has a layer of lint that can be seen from the outside opening or the opening at the back of the dryer.
If your laundry is suddenly producing more lint than usual, this is a sign that the dryer vent is clogged. Check to see if there is excess lint on your laundry room floor or around the opening where the dryer connects to the vent. This built up lint will cause the dryer to burn less efficiently and the excess lint puts your home at a higher risk for a dryer vent fire.
There are more than just extra costs associated with an unclean dryer vent. Not only does a clean dryer vent extend the life of the appliance, it also prevents the dryer from becoming a safety hazard. The dryer vent should be cleaned out every year to 18 months depending on how often the appliance is used, but if any of these signs are noticed, it is time to call a dryer vent cleaning professional.