Cleaning your clothes dryer vent is just as important as any other household chore. In fact, it’s necessary. This is because your dryer’s lint trap doesn’t always catch all the lint that’s formed during the clothes drying process. Small particles of this lint are carried along through the vent hose as the moist air exits.
With time, this lint accumulates inside your vent decreasing air flow and maybe even blocking the vent altogether. This can lead to a breeding environment for mold which can make your family sick. It can also turn into a fire hazard. If you have a gas-operated dryer, it can lead to a leak in carbon monoxide which can be fatal.
Although you might clean out your lint screen religiously after every load of laundry, you are still not averting this risk. Even though you might be reducing this risk, you are not totally eliminating it since your lint screen only captures around 25 percent of the lint. The rest of the lint gets into the vent of your dryer and sticks to its walls.
Around 92 percent of all home fires are caused by clothes dryers. U.S. Fire Administration statistics show that every year there are around 2,900 dryer fires which lead to around 100 injuries, five deaths and approximately $35 million in damaged property. Out of all dryer fires, 34 percent of them are caused because the vents were not cleaned.
Signs you Need to Clean your Clothes Dryer Vent
There are a number of signs that could indicate you need a dryer vent cleaning. Some of these include:
- When running your dryer, you don’t hear noise coming from the vent outside or see any steam
- You get debris build-up around the dryer vent opening outside
- The hood flap of the dryer vent doesn’t open correctly
- While your dryer is running, the room it’s in collects excessive heat
- Your dryer’s lint filter accumulates debris and lint around it
Once a year, you should have your dryer vents cleaned and inspected. It does, however, depend on how often you use it and its size. A good sign your dryer vent is ready to be cleaned is if it takes a couple cycles to get your clothes dried when normally it only took one normal cycle. If the control area or external cabinet of your dryer is hotter than normal, this is a good sign you have obstructed or poor venting. This would be a good time to have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned.