What to Expect with a Dryer Vent Cleaning


Did you know that not cleaning your dryer vent could lead to an increased chance of your home catching on fire and decreased efficiency with your dryer?

I’m not talking about just cleaning your lint trap. 

That’s certainly important. But I’m talking about the dryer vent. You may have heard it called the dryer duct. But the truth is, they’re both the same thing. It’s the exhaust system of your clothes dryer. 

Whatever you call it, we’re going to tell you all about why you should have your dryer vent cleaned and how we help. 


Table of Contents


Why Clean Your Dryer Vent


How We Clean Your Dryer Vents


Warning Signs


How to Hire a Dryer Vent Company

Why Clean Your Dryer Vent

In addition to making your dryer run more efficiently and preventing dryer fires, you can save $18-$24 per month in energy bills, since your dryer won’t have to work as hard to clean your clothes.

Plus your clothes won’t have to go through multiple cycles. Therefore, your clothes will last much longer.

In this section, I’ll tell you about the things you probably don’t know about: fire safety, carbon monoxide safety, and mold issues.

chimney caps & no caps

Fire Safety

92% of fires that involved washers and dryers are caused by dryers.

Each year, dryer fires cause 13 deaths, 444 injuries and more than $238 million in property damage!

We know that the number one reason for dryer fires is a failure to properly clean the dryer vent lines. And lint from your clothes is the most common source of ignition.

If lint is building up inside your dryer, your appliance can overheat, throw a spark, and catch on fire.

It really is that simple.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Everybody knows about carbon monoxide poisoning these days. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and difficult to detect. 

Your dryer could be a carbon monoxide risk if it’s not properly maintained. Especially if you have a gas dryer. 

Your dryer vent could clog with lint or a birds nest. This prevents the fumes from properly exhausting and exiting the vent line. 

Instead the gases build up inside your home and pose a serious risk to you and your family.

Eliminate Mold Issues

A full load of wet clothes placed inside your dryer contains about a half-gallon of water.

As you can probably guess, one of the most important features of your dryer vent system is the elimination of moisture during the drying process.

After all, the name is “dryer.”

Clean dryer vent lines are essential in making sure the moisture is able to fully escape and expelled outside during the dry cycle.

If the moisture isn’t able to escape, then you can easily face mold growth in your home.

Mold growth in your home could lead to structural damage as well as a variety of other health problems. Mold spores can bring on symptoms of asthma and certainly induce allergic reactions.

How We Clean Your Dryer Vents

The best way to prevent any of the above-mentioned issues caused by your dryer vent is to have your dryer vent cleaned regularly.

But what’s involved in that?

I can’t speak for all dryer vent companies. But I can tell you about how we do it at Patriot Chimney.

We remove lint, debris, and clogs from the lines, clean the booster fans, and clean the lint screen.

All of this is specifically designed to ensure that your dryer vent is working as safely and efficiently as possible.


Remove Debris and Clogs

When you get professional dryer vent cleaning, you can be sure that the professional will remove any dangerous and problematic debris, lint, nests, or other obstructions from your dryer vent. 

At Patriot Chimney, we clear the entire dryer vent line of clogs and blockages. Not just the entry and termination points. 

We’ll remove the debris, clean it up, and properly dispose of it. 

Lint is the most common form of debris we remove, but we’ve seen some pretty wild obstructions in the past few years: 

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Dryer sheets
  • Nuts left behind from squirrels
  • Birds nests, rats nests
  • Brushes stuck inside from when a customer tried to clean the vent himself
  • Construction debris

Clean Booster Fans

If your dryer vent line exceeds 35 feet, you’ll likely have a booster fan to help maintain sufficient airflow levels.

Your booster fan, just like the rest of your dryer line, should be cleaned once a year to stay safe and efficient.

At Patriot Chimney, we remove all the lint and debris that has built up on the fan over the course of the last year.

We also take the time to inspect it and ensure the booster fan is fully functioning and actually helping your dryer vent system work at maximum efficiency.

Clean Lint Screen and Lint Trap Cleaning

Your lint trap is supposed to do exactly what it sounds like.

Trap lint.

Unfortunately, after repeated use, a build-up of oils and residue can clog your lint trap screen. At this point, removing the bulk of the lint is no longer effective

In addition to a buildup of lint in the screen, lint can also be pushed around the edges of the lint trap and into the dryer cavity.

At Patriot Chimney, we actually clean the dryer cavity, lint screen, and lint trap as part of our maintenance.

Our goal is to help keep you and your family safe and this is just one extra thing that we can do to achieve that.

You can test to see if you can use a lint trap cleaning by running water through your screen. If the water puddles, then you know you need to have it cleaned.

Warning Signs

You already know that not having your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year is part of a recipe I call “Bad News.”

But luckily, there are some warning signs that you and your family can be on the lookout for. These aren’t tell-all, but they do present themselves and can help you easily identify when you need to have your dryer vent cleaned out.

Here’s what you can look out for:


#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. 

Other Considerations

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.

Other Problems

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.

How to Hire a Dryer Vent Company

Navigating through all of the dryer vent companies in your city can be a chore all on its own. And it makes sense, too.

Hiring anyone to come into your home to fix something like your dryer vent shouldn’t be a task you take lightly.

So I created a list that you can use to make sure you make the right decision when you need someone to help you in your home.


How to Hire, What to Look For

When you’re hiring a dryer vent company, you should always ask the following questions before allowing them to come into your home:

  1. Can the company provide references? 
  2. Does the company carry a valid business liability insurance policy? 
  3. Does the company ensure that a certified dryer vent technician will be on the job? 

If they guarantee all three of those, then you are in a good spot. The technicians don’t necessarily need to be certified by the CSIA, but I do recommend putting in a bit more due diligence before accepting a certification that’s not by the CSIA. 

This is because certifications are a tricky thing, especially in an unlicensed industry like ours. Any company can craft a list of job-related questions and sell them as an exam and certify those who pass. 


I recommend you take a few extra minutes in your research before making your hiring decision to learn more about the certification the company has. Here are a few tips to make sure the certification is reputable: 

  • Is the word “certified” just part of the business name or is it an earned designation? 
  • Is the certifying body a for-profit business or non-profit? 
  • Does the certification need to be maintained and renewed through continuing education as the industry evolves, or is it well enough to be certified through a one-time exam? 
  • Is the certifying body well-established or are they relatively new to the scene? New doesn’t mean “bad” but you should make sure the requirements for certification are more or at least equally stringent as those of more established certifications
  • Is the mission statement of the certifying body focused on educating and protecting homeowners or is it more focused on making it easier to earn a certification? 
  • Does holding the certification require following a code of ethics? 

If you can answer all of these questions, then I think it will be safe to allow the company in your home to work on your dryer vent.

It doesn’t matter if you are in Roanoke, Lynchburg, Blacksburg, or some other city anywhere in the USA — if you have any questions about the safety of hiring a dryer vent company, please don’t hesitate to email me at mitchell@patriotchimney.net or call me at 540-225-2626. I’m happy to help!

Final Thoughts

Patriot Chimney has a few CSIA Certified Exhaust Technicians that you can trust with your home and family. During your service, you can expect your technician to inspect, clean, and verify that the venting system is sized and installed correctly.


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