How To Know When It’s Time For Dryer Vent Cleaning

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We homeowners go to great lengths to keep our most important investment protected, from installing carbon monoxide detectors to purchasing home security systems. Many home dangers are obvious, but sometimes a small catalyst may cause a big crisis. One such threat is lint

Yes, the same fluff found in your jeans pocket. Your home dryer has a dryer vent (connected by tubing to the outside of your home) that releases hot air. Over time, this tubing can become clogged with excess lint. This lint is incredibly flammable and can be ignited by extreme heat and static electricity. Due to its location, some homeowners may have difficulty inspecting their dryer vents. Luckily, Ned Stevens is here to help you spot the telltale signs associated with a clogged dryer vent.

Your Yearly Dryer Vent Check Up

The first question you should ask yourself is “When was the last time I got my dryer vent serviced?”

If the answer is over a year, then you are due for another cleaning. Ned Stevens recommends a yearly dryer vent cleaning to ward off the danger of home fires. This may seem excessive, but knowing your home is safe is invaluable. We also recommend fall as the perfect time to schedule this service. 

The upcoming winter season dry air increases the potential for fire. Setting a monthly reminder on your digital calendar or grouping it with other seasonal services can help you keep current.  

Laundry Not Getting Dry?

Over time you may notice your dryer is starting to dry clothes a lot slower, meaning a single load of wet laundry may take two or three cycles to become thoroughly dry. 

Most of the time this isn’t due to an aging machine, but instead is a symptom of a clogged dryer vent. The reverse is also a sign. Your clothes and dryer should never feel alarmingly hot during any point in the process. A clogged dryer vent does not let warm air properly circulate and causes these issues which can lead to fire. This is not only a safety hazard, but it also decreases the lifespan of your appliances and raises the monthly electric bill.  

The Danger of Too Much Lint

Lint is normal after a load of laundry. It’s a regular side effect of a working machine. You should begin to worry if you start noticing an overabundance of it. How does one determine if there is too much lint? A simple visual test is lint overflowing from the lint trap and getting into your clothing. A regular load of laundry should not produce too much lint for the trap. If this is the case, most likely your dryer vent is in need of cleaning. To eliminate potential confusion, make sure you are cleaning the lint trap after every use.

Finding Your Dryer Vent

The dryer vent is located outside the home underneath plastic or rubber flaps. When the tubing becomes clogged with lint, you will start seeing buildup occur on the exterior vent. Two outcomes are likely. First, the lint may become very hard when exposed to the elements, preventing the vent flaps from opening and closing. In some extreme cases, lint will overflow from the vent causing large piles on your property. 

These are not just eyesores but a hint of a dryer vent in dire need of a cleaning. If either is occurring at your home, call Ned Stevens immediately to schedule service.

We love gutters at Ned Stevens, but we are more than just gutter cleaning professionals. We offer many other home services including dryer vent cleaning. Keep your home protected top to bottom with the Ned Stevens Diamond Service Plan. Our Diamond Service plan includes our recommended six gutter cleanings, discounts and free customer perks including priority scheduling and discounts on supplemental services.

Originally published November 2018

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