How to Know You Need Dryer Vent Cleaning

Washing and drying machines have substantially improved our modern human life. You might be surprised to learn that these inventions are not even that old. Only a couple of decades ago, most households in the world did not have a washing machine, let alone a dryer. These machines help us run our households every day, but without the proper upkeep, they can also cause big trouble. Keeping your home safe and energy efficient requires more than just regularly emptying the lint from your dryer. For thorough dryer vent cleaning, you may need to go beyond the easily removed cap. There are a few telltale symptoms of lint buildup in your vents, which can increase your fire risk and your monthly energy costs.

6 Telltale signs you need dryer vent cleaning 

Your dryer vent may be to blame for the less-than-fresh aroma of your “clean” laundry. The dryer vent is often overlooked. Of course, it’s not visible to the naked eye, so people usually don’t want to bother. This, however, is no reason to overlook the dryer’s lint filter. One of the most important things you can do for your dryer and utility bills is to have the dryer vents cleaned at least once a year. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to call a dryer vent cleaning service in your area.

a washing and drying machine tucked in the corner of a bathroom
The upkeep of all of your home appliances is fundamental.

1. Drying time takes much longer than usual

How long do your clothes typically need to dry? It may be time to call in the experts if your washing machine has slowed down significantly and your clothes are still damp after 45 minutes or more for an average load. This is the earliest symptom of a lint buildup in the air ducts. If you need something dry quickly, it can be a hassle. Moreover, it can cause your utility costs to skyrocket. And we all want to prevent that from happening, especially in these trying times. If you reach for your clothes and find that they are damp and hot, you may want to think about scheduling your annual dryer vent cleaning before it becomes even more clogged and starts causing even bigger problems. 

2. Your clothes smell musty when you take them out 

If you smell something unpleasant coming from your freshly washed load, it may be time to have your dryer vent cleaned. Do not fold clothes until they are completely dry. Otherwise, mold and mildew will develop, and the musty odor will only get worse. For the time being, you’re better off drying your clothes out in the open than putting them in the dryer. If you are a renter, definitely call up your landlord and ask them when was the last time they cleaned the dryer vent. They should fix it up if the buildup is their fault. If they refuse, this service will not cost you as much as you think. It’s more affordable than moving out. But if you do decide to move out, you should know about extra expenses before you make your decision to avoid the hidden costs of moving.

3. Your clothes feel hot to the touch when you take them out 

You should never dry your clothes at an unsafe temperature. A blocked vent is the leading cause of dryer overheating. It’s best to start by clearing out the lint trap. But if your dryer is still too hot, check the duct for any lint accumulation.  You’ll need to check the vent outside to see if the air is coming out. And this brings us to the next point. 

4. Lint coming from the exterior vent opening

Your dryer’s exhaust air will exit through the external vent opening. The standard size for an outdoor vent is 6 inches. You should have your dryer vent system cleaned if you notice lint or debris around the opening or coming from the opening. Experts recommend that you check the flap on the dryer’s duct hood as well. If the flap on the dryer’s duct hood does not open when the dryer is turned on, lint has blocked or restricted the airflow, and the system should be cleaned. 

clothes in a dryer
If your clothes are not fully dry and have a musty smell, it’s time for dryer vent cleaning.

5. It’s been over a year since you had your dryer vent cleaned

You can save money on utility bills, get better performance from your dryer, and avoid fires and carbon monoxide poisoning by having the vent hoses or ducts inspected and cleaned once a year. Using a specialized kit, you can clean the vent opening yourself if it leads directly to the outside. However, the cost of hiring a professional isn’t much higher, and they’ll be prepared to work on any dryer model. Most experts resort to the use of a specialized brush equipped with a vacuum attachment. As an added downside, some DIY kits aren’t designed to properly clean dryer vents and can cause damage to your vent if used improperly. But whether you do it alone or hire an expert, cleaning the dryer vent once every year is extremely important. If you’re planning on selling your home and it’s been a year or more before your last dryer vent was cleaned, you should really clean it up before leaving.  It should be on your list of things to check on moving day.

Dryer vent cleaning may be required more frequently than once a year if you have a large family or if your dryer is located in the middle of your home with a long duct or hose to the outside. You may need to have your dryer vent repaired or replaced if you’ve already tried cleaning it and are still having issues. Drying large items, such as comforters, on a clothesline can reduce the frequency of dryer vent cleanings. If the smell coming out of your dryer is spreading fast, you may also use sanitizing services until you’ve solved your dryer vent issue. Unfortunately, the smell of lint and debris tends to linger around the house. 

a woman doing dryer vent cleaning
Make sure to keep your dryer machine in good condition.

6. There is damage to the vent hood

A dryer hood is a protective cap installed over the vent opening to prevent animals, leaves, and other debris from entering your home through the dryer vent. The vent can be easily cleaned thanks to the removable nature of these hoods. It’s possible that the vent needs cleaning if the hood gets stuck or gets damaged because dust and other debris have accumulated on it. Is there a lot of lint in the area around your dryer vent while you’re checking the dryer vent hood? And what about different kinds of trash? Everything under the hood and in the vent should be crystal clear. If they don’t, it’s probably time to hire a dryer vent cleaning service.

Are your dryer vents, floors or furniture in need of professional cleaning? Don’t wait any longer! To get in touch with us, you can complete our online appointment form and someone from our team will be in touch with you. You may also feel free to reach us during normal business hours (8:30 am–5:00 pm Monday-Friday) by calling (859) 525-7575. We look forward to servicing you!

Carpet Cleaning Florence KY