10 Signs that Your Dryer Vent Needs Maintenance
#1 Clothes Don’t Completely Dry
If your dryer isn’t drying like it used to, it’s probably because your dryer vent is clogged. Your dryer is supposed to heat up and evaporate the wet clothes. This should remove any wet lint, too. If the dryer vent is clogged, there’s nowhere for the water to escape, keeping it in the dryer.
#2 You Feel Excessive Heat in the Laundry Room
When the vent is clogged, the heat has to go somewhere. Sometimes, it just goes back to your clothes. But sometimes it leaks into your laundry room or in your home.
#3 Lint & Debris Accumulate Around the Lint Filter
The job of the lint filter is to catch the lint. Sometimes small amounts of lint can get by the filter and over time accumulate around it. This may be one of the first signs that you have a problem. And maybe one of the contributing factors around the other problems.
#4 Large Amounts of Lint In the Dryer’s Lint Trap
You should clean your lint trap every time you use your dryer. You’ve probably heard that hundreds of times. So let’s assume that you do, but there’s a larger than normal amount of lint being trapped. This could be a sign that your dryer vent is clogged.
If you just bought a new dryer, this could be normal. Newer models are designed like this. The thought is that it should be the job of the dryer to remove lint from the clothes, not the washer. This is why you may see more lint.
#5 Clothes Take Longer than 40 Minutes to Dry
Just as with the clothes aren’t drying completely, you could have a dryer vent issue when the clothes take longer to dry. If too much lint accumulates, the dryer’s drying time will increase significantly. If the airflow is restricted the rate at which clothes are drying will be reduced.
#6 Dryer Vent Hood Flap Doesn’t Open Properly
This could happen from too much lint accumulating in the flap opening or any number of things that broke it. But if the hood flap isn’t opening as it should then airflow has been restricted, which will cause buildup.
#7 Debris Appears Around Outside the Dryer Vent Opening
This one could be #6.5. If you go outside near the dryer vent hood flap and see that lint has been pushed out onto your yard, that may be a sign that your dryer vent is clogged. It may be the stage just before #6, where your vent hood flap is clogged by the lint.
#8 Clothes Seem Unusually Hot to the Touch
Just like with the wet clothes, where the water stays trapped in the dryer, heat can do the same thing. If the dryer vent is clogged, the heat doesn’t have anywhere to go. So it just stays and heats up the clothes more than it should.
#9 Clothes Smell Musty
If your dryer vent is clogged and the wet lint is being trapped in the tube, it could start to cause mildew and mold, which can spread the smell to your clothes. The best way to fix this is to, of course, remove the mold.
A clogged dryer vent isn’t the only reason for your clothes to smell moldy and musty. Here are a few more:
- Leaving your clothes in the washing machine too long
- Using too much detergent
- Not using enough detergent
- Having a dirty washing machine
#10 It’s Been Longer than a Year Since You’ve Had an Inspection
This really is last but not least. You know the benefits of having your gutters regularly cleaned, your oil changed every few months, and you go to the dentist every six months. But you forget about your dryer vents. To ensure that your dryer is working in the most efficient way possible, you need to have it checked regularly, at least once per year.