How Do I Know If My Dryer Vent Is Clogged?

By Nick Evans •  Last Updated: 07/16/21 •  3 min read

How do I know if my dryer vent is clogged? Good question! It’s also a very important one to ask.

In this article you will learn:

  • What causes a dryer vent to clog
  • What can happen if your vent is clogged
  • Warning signs to watch out for

Let’s get started!

How Do I Know If My Dryer Vent Is Clogged

Did you know that dryer vents are a leading cause of structure fires that result hundreds of millions in losses for homeowners each year?

It is essential to keep your dryer vent in crisp condition to avoid fire hazards and cut down on energy costs.

What Causes a Dryer Vent to Clog?

Lint is the number one cause of clogging in dryer vents. It tends to build up in areas with bends and depressions.

Dryers that vent to the outside cover long distances, creating curves around corners and through walls.

Also, many dryer vents are made from foil duct or flexible plastic, which are susceptible to crushing and sagging. These vulnerabilities encourage lint to settle and clog your dryer vent.

Waste from animals like rodents and birds living in your vents can cause clogging too. Install screens at the duct termination to prevent animals from entering your dryer ventilation system.

What Happens If the Dryer Vent Is Clogged?

A clogged vent is a safety hazard and has somewhat of a domino effect. Your clogged dryer vent can cause dryer fires and malfunctioned lint traps.

Lint can accumulate inside and outside your dryer vent. If you don’t take care of it, it will heat up and burst into flames.

In the process, you could lose your dryer and many other household items. The carbon monoxide emitted from burning lint can cause health issues and death.

Warning Signs a Dryer Vent Is Clogged 

You don’t have to wait for your dryer to malfunction to start unclogging and cleaning your vents. Here are four warning signs to look out for.

Drying Clothes Takes Longer

Clogged dryer vents can double, triple, or even quadruple the drying time. Hot air and moisture trap themselves in the dryer keeping your clothes warm and moist.

You might have to repeat the drying cycle a couple of times to dry your clothes thoroughly.

The Smell of Something Burning 

Lint is flammable. When it builds up in your dryer and heats up, it could catch fire.  If you smell something burning when nothing is cooking in your kitchen, you may want to check out your dryer vent and clean it before it’s too late. 

Dryer Is Hot to the Touch 

A dryer expels moisture and heat. With a clogged vent, your dryer will not exhaust hot air properly. Consequently, it will overheat and heat its exterior.

Excess Lint in the Dryer Lint Trap

It’s advisable to clean out your lint filter every time you use your dryer. However, if you notice that you’re cleaning out more lint than usual, you may be looking at a clogged dryer vent.

It could be time to unclog the vent and avoid a myriad of safety and functionality issues.

In Conclusion

You don’t want to leave your dryer vent unchecked, as it can cause undesirable effects in your life. It’s important to take care of debris, lint, and other materials that cause clogging in your vents. You can do it yourself with the right tools or hire a professional to unclog your vents.

Also, make sure to lookout for the warning signs discussed in this article as they can enable you to know when your dryer vent is clogged.

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