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How to Tell if Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

Dryer vent cleaning likely isn’t on the top of your to-do list, but you should know when you need to make it a priority, as failure to clean your dryer vent can lead to expensive dryer repairs, and even a dryer fire.

Your dryer will give you several signs when it is time for a dryer vent cleaning.


  1. Longer Drying Times. If you notice your clothes are not dry after one cycle that is your first sign that you should schedule a dryer vent cleaning. As dryer vents get clogged up with lint, the airflow from your dryer is reduced and it starts to take longer to dry a load of clothes. 

  2. Hot Dryer. Is your dryer and/or clothes unusually hot to the touch after drying a load of laundry? This is sign number 2 that your dryer’s vent is clogged up.

  3. Burning Smell. If you notice a burning smell coming from your dryer, DO NOT WAIT to get it cleaned! Lint is highly flammable and an overheated dryer can cause a dryer fire!

  4. Broken Dryer. If your dryer vent is filled with lint for too long it will overwork your dryer and cause the heating element to go out. A repairman can fix the dryer but will likely not guarantee the work unless you have your dryer vent cleaned.

  5. Warning Light/Shut Off. Perhaps you have a fancy new dryer with all the bells and whistles, in which case your dryer might alert you of an airflow problem with a warning light or it might even shut off if it gets too hot.



As dryer vent experts, we recommend that as soon as you see increased drying times you make an appointment for a professional to inspect and clean your dryer vent.  Please, for the safety of your home and family, DO NOT WAIT for the burning smell or for your dryer to break down, or even worse catch fire. If you are the type of person who wants to schedule routine maintenance, you should schedule a dryer vent cleaning every 3-4 years, but always watch for increased drying times. Rarely do you need it more frequently than that, but from time to time it happens, especially if you have indoor cats/dogs and a longer than usual dryer vent run.


It should be noted that we also see dryer vent issues with new build homes, so always watch for the signs! It also happens that a dryer worked great until the owner moved to a new home and then it broke down, this is a tale tell sign there are dryer vent problems and you should reach out to a professional.


One last thing to mention is that sometimes there is more going on than just a clogged dryer vent, we’ve seen roofers roof over the vent, birds nesting inside them, vents that are crushed in the attic or have come apart in the wall. We have been dryer vent specialists for over 15 years and we know better than to just clean a dryer vent when there are issues, we do a thorough inspection and get to the root of the problem so that we can offer true solutions that will make your dryer work better, last longer and run safer.


If  you are experiencing any of these signs, please give us a call or schedule an appointment on our website, we would love to help you get your dryer drying as safely and efficiently as possible.  



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