How To Tell If Dryer Vent Is Clogged: 4 Warning Signs

warning signs for clogged dryer vents

Are your clothes still damp after a dryer cycle? Do you keep smelling a burnt odor while drying clothes? Unfortunately, your dryer vent may be clogged.

A clogged dryer vent can be caused by lint buildup in the ventilation system that restricts airflow. Lint that has built up over the past few months or years affects not only the operation of your dryer vent but can also be a fire hazard. Over 15,000 clothes dryer fires are reported yearly, causing an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

Another source of a clogged dryer vent can be items that have fallen into the lint trap, or even an animal could be blocking it. If you forget to remove items from your pockets, like gum wrappers or coins, they can easily fall into the lint trap and get sucked into the vent, causing it to be blocked.

How To Tell If Dryer Vent Is Clogged

Below are some of the main warning signs you should be looking for when determining whether your dryer vent is clogged. 

Long Drying Times

One of the first signs that your dryer vent is clogged is when your clothes are no longer fully drying during a regular dry cycle. The drying time should take 30-40 minutes per load.

If your dryer vent is clogged, your clothes will take longer and longer to dry because the blocked vent is trapping the air and keeping your clothes hot and moist. Removing your clothes from the dryer after a cycle, which still feels damp, means it’s time to get your dryer vent cleaned.

Burning Smell From Your Dryer

Have you noticed a burnt odor from your dryer when you have a load? Nope, it’s not your imagination…the smell is coming from your dryer. When your dryer vent is clogged, it has to work extra hard to dry your clothes, which means it’s overworking itself and creating this burnt smell.

Your Dryer’s Exterior is Hot

As we mentioned earlier, your dryer has to strain itself and work twice as hard to dry your clothes, meaning the appliance will feel extremely hot during a cycle. A dryer is functioned to exhaust the heat and moisture while it’s drying.

If that heat and moisture cannot leave the dryer, then it sits there and continues to work but can no longer keep up with the drying. With nowhere to go, excessive heat builds up, causing your dryer to overheat and ultimately ignite a fire.

Excessive Amounts of Lint

Before starting a new cycle, cleaning out your lint filter/tray is best. However, if you start noticing excessive lint each time you clean it out, chances are you have a clogged dryer vent. You may even notice a lot of lint accumulating outside the lint filter and around your dryer and laundry room.

Need Help Cleaning Your Clogged Dryer Vent?

If your dryer shows all the warning signs we mentioned, it’s time to get your dryer vent professionally inspected and cleaned! It’s recommended that you get your dryer vent cleaned out every year. Perhaps you can’t remember the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned, but it’s better to be safe and get it checked out. You can schedule a service today to fix your problem and prevent future ones. Keep your dryer in tip-top shape with Capitol Chimney.

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Walter Clarke
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