Our Company Blog

Vent Cleaning 101

What is Wrong with My Dryer?

Tired of hitting the “Start” button on your clothes dryer over and over to get your clothing dry? With all the things we have to do to maintain our homes, dryer vents often don’t even pop up on the radar. We’ll deal with the more pressing issues, like keeping our appliances working efficiently and replacing the roof when it starts leaking, when all the while lint is building up in our dryer vents, causing an unseen fire hazard that has cost many people their homes.

How do I know if my vents need to be cleaned?

If your dryer is slow, no matter how often you clean the lint trap, it may be time to have your vents cleaned. Lint is highly flammable.

If your dryer is slow, no matter how often you clean the lint trap, it may be time to have your vents cleaned. Lint is highly flammable.

A good rule of thumb is to have the vents cleaned when you schedule your annual chimney maintenance. It’s a lot easier to remember this way, and gets two important things done at once. Here are some things to watch out for that could be telling you there’s a problem:

  • Clothes drying slowly
  • Lint behind dryer
  • Clothes/dryer feel too hot
  • Heat element in dryer burns out
  • Water spots on walls
  • Carbon monoxide alarm going off

But I clean my lint screen after every load!

Cleaning your lint screen before or after each load of laundry is an important practice that helps to reduce lint buildup in the ducts. This does a great job of slowing duct buildup down, but it doesn’t eliminate it. Lint still accumulates in the dryer hose, reducing the airflow and making the dryer work harder.

Dryers are now made to include switches that keep the temperature from running too high, but if you have lint clogging your dryer hose, it can wear the switch out and cause it to fail.

Still not convinced?

FEMA reports an average of 2,900 residential fires caused by clothes dryers, and the National Fire Protection Association recommends professional installation and maintenance of clothes dryers to ensure safe and proper functioning. Cleaning the vents doesn’t just remove a fire hazard from your home—it saves energy and increases the life of your dryer.

Cleaning dryer vents is one of the many things we are certified to take care of at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, so don’t hesitate to give us a call when it’s time for some maintenance.