What happens if you don't clean your dryer vent?
Updated: Feb 9
If your dryer takes forever to dry, it might be time to clean the dryer vent. Ask yourself, honestly, when was the last time you did it. Maybe never? We’re not talking about the screen inside the dryer. We’re talking about the silver tube exhaust system that carries all the hot, wet air outside.
What Is a Dryer Vent?
Oddly, a lot of people clean the lint filter in the dryer door or body and think “well, that's that”. Hardly anyone wonders what's going on with the tubing at the back of the dryer. That's the hose that leads from the dryer and vents to the outside. Your dryer’s exhaust system can get clogged with lint, which will keep your dryer from functioning properly. Lint gets out of the dryer, too, but not through the lint trap. Dangerous heat levels also get out of the dryer, vented to the outside.
How can heat be dangerous?
Lint and debris collect in dryer vents. This causes the clothes to remain moist. The dryer has to work overtime with more and more heat in order to dry the clothes. The machine wasn't made for that degree of heat. With the debris blocking the vent, the machine overheats.
As a result, the dryer will not only take longer to dry clothes, it will also increase your electric bill and create a fire risk. This could and has caused a house fire.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are about 2,900 dryer fires a year, which cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. The leading cause of those fires?
Failure to clean dryer vents!
If you have a gas dryer, then blockage can cause a dangerous carbon monoxide backup. This deadly gas will be forced into your house. Remember that it can't be seen or smelled. Get the vent checked at least once a year. If that doesn’t get you running to clean your dryer, we don’t know what will.
Who you gonna call? Lint Busters!