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10 Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

10 Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

In the midst of your busy daily life, it’s important to recognize clear signs that your dryer vent needs cleaning. Ignoring this task could lead to problems like your dryer not working well and the risk of fires. 

While it’s good to regularly remove lint from your dryer, that alone won’t ensure your home is safe and energy-efficient. Cleaning your dryer vent regularly is really important to keep the air inside your home healthy

This is useful whether you own or rent your home, as it helps you take care of where you live. With this knowledge, you can make sure your home and your loved ones stay safe. Explore these five important signs that mean you need to clean your dryer vent. 

  1. Clothes Take Longer Than Normal to Dry

Is your laundry taking longer than usual to dry? If your clothes are still damp after running the dryer for 45 minutes or more, it’s a sign to consider professional help. This slowdown is often the first indicator of lint buildup in your vents. 

Not only is it inconvenient when you need to dry clothes quickly, but it can also lead to higher utility costs. If you find your clothes hot and moist when you take them out, it’s time to schedule an annual vent cleaning.

  1. Your Laundry Is Overly Hot

Experiencing an excessively hot load of laundry can be a sign of a potentially clogged dryer vent, much like the issue of damp clothing. In a properly functioning setup, the dryer vent cycles hot air and moisture efficiently.

However, a dirty or blocked dryer vent can trap heat, causing clothes to feel slightly too warm to the touch. Normally, clothes should be both warm and dry at the end of a cycle. If they’re extremely hot yet possibly still damp, it’s a sign of a problem. 

Running another cycle isn’t a solution as it risks burning out the heating element or, worse, igniting lint in the clogged vent. When an excessive amount of lint accumulates in the vent or inside the dryer, it can easily catch fire, leading to a serious house fire hazard. 

Overheating is commonly caused by restricted airflow. While cleaning the lint trap is the first step, persistent overheating could indicate lint buildup in the duct.

  1. Your laundry room feels hot

On laundry day, it’s important that your laundry room maintains the same temperature as the rest of your house, regardless of the number of loads you’re washing. An overheating appliance can be attributed to a blocked dryer vent. 

Just like the indicator of hot clothes, an excessively warm laundry room while the dryer is in operation might suggest that lint has accumulated in the system, leading to the dryer’s overheating.

  1. Your Laundry Smells Musty and Burning

If your dryer releases hot, damp air into your home, it can leave behind a musty odor, and if there’s a spark from accumulated lint, it might even give off a burning smell.

Lint buildup in your dryer vent poses a significant risk of causing burning odors and potential fires. Another warning sign of clogged vents is the presence of a burning smell during dryer operation. 

Lint can accumulate not only in the vent but also in other parts of the dryer like the exhaust tube, lint trap, and drum casting. 

Detecting the scent of burning lint before it leads to a major fire is crucial; if this smell arises, it’s essential to immediately turn off the dryer and seek professional assistance to clean the vents, and inspect the appliance before resuming its use.

If you detect a burning odor near your dryer, it’s advisable to immediately turn off the appliance and arrange for a professional inspection.

  1. Excessive Lint

Excess lint after drying clothes is also a sign that cleaning is needed. A clean vent allows hot air to escape properly, but a clogged vent disrupts dryer performance. 

Prioritizing safety, it’s important to address lint-related concerns to prevent future complications. The presence of lint around this opening indicates the necessity for dryer vent cleaning.

  1. The Dryer Tells You There’s A Problem

Modern dryers equipped with advanced features may offer alerts for potential issues. This could manifest as a warning light or an error code, signaling a malfunction in the system. Such notifications might also indicate a need for vent cleaning.

Certain dryers are designed with a safety mechanism: when excessive heat is detected, the dryer can automatically shut off. 

In more sophisticated models, the dryer might proactively communicate a problem through a warning light or an error code, highlighting system inefficiency. It’s important not to overlook or disregard these messages from your dryer.

  1. The dryer stops working.

Occasionally, a dryer may have a built-in safety feature that causes it to shut off when it senses excessive heat. 

Before jumping to the conclusion of purchasing a new appliance, it’s advisable to try a simple solution: clean the dryer vent. This step might resolve the issue and save you from unnecessary expenses.

  1. The Vent Hood Is Not Opening

During dryer operation, the external vent hood flap should open. Failure to do so often indicates restricted airflow, usually due to lint accumulation in the vent. It’s equally crucial to observe if lint is emerging from this vent.

A stuck or damaged hood suggests potential vent cleaning needs, as debris might obstruct it. To assess potential blockage, locate the dryer vent hood outside your home. Check for lint around its opening. 

If present, engaging a professional for vent inspection and cleaning is advised. Even if the vent hood appears lint-free, a clog could still exist further within the system. External signs might not be visible. 

In such cases, if you notice any of the listed signs, it’s wise to schedule a vent cleaning. Moreover, if the lint flap outside fails to open while the dryer operates, restricted airflow due to lint blockage is likely. 

This can also occur if the vent cover is missing, potentially leading to safety hazards like bird nesting and further airflow constraints.

  1. Higher Energy Bills

Higher energy bills may indicate a clogged dryer vent. A blocked vent restricts airflow, forcing the dryer to work longer and harder, consuming more energy. 

Inefficient venting prolongs drying times, increases heating element use, strains components, and wastes energy. Cleaning the vent restores proper airflow, enhances dryer efficiency, reduces energy consumption, and lowers bills.

  1. Lack of Dryer Vent Maintenance

For homes aged 8 – 10 years or older, or if it’s been more than five or six years since your last cleaning, it’s crucial to remain vigilant even if no signs are apparent. 

To address potential issues, a comprehensive, professional dryer vent inspection every four or five years is recommended.

Despite diligent lint filter cleaning, lint can infiltrate your dryer vent over time, leading to system blockages. It’s advisable to schedule professional dryer vent cleaning annually at the very least. 

Select a convenient time, perhaps during your spring cleaning routine, to ensure this task is remembered. If you’re uncertain about the last time your dryer vent was cleaned, it’s wise to take action and get in touch with Forever Vent today.


These are the top 10 signs your dryer vent needs cleaning. If you don’t, the humidity in your home gradually increases each time you dry clothes, making things feel uncomfortable. 

Also, your dryer won’t work as well if its vent is dirty and the air can’t flow properly. This can even affect the air you breathe inside your home and make fires more likely. Learn about these clear signs that show your dryer vent needs cleaning. 

This will help you create a laundry routine that’s safer and saves you money. With this information, you can say goodbye to worrying about laundry and enjoy a smoother experience with your dryer working better.

Now that you know if your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning, contact us to schedule an appointment. Trying to clean a dryer vent or air duct on your own can be incredibly risky. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Let us know if you have any questions.