Dryer Vent Cleaning: Is it really necessary?

We all have lots of things to do and adding another home maintenance task to your list is not always exciting. However, it really is important to clean your dryer vent. In Minnesota, the temperature is constantly changing creating a perfect environment for condensation to build up in your dryer vent.   The moisture will cause lint to get stuck and clog the vent causing your clothes dryer to stop working as it should.

If your dryer is vented up through your roof, a clogged vent can also cause trouble in your attic. If the moisture starts to collect in your attic it has the potential to create a sheet of ice. That ice will eventually melt making the issue look like a roof leak. You might remember from our blog about Ice Dam’s, ice is going to find a way to move down. The excess moisture will escape using the easiest route which may also lead to ceiling mold or paint flaking up. Leaving your dryer vent unmaintained can potentially lead to some serious issues in your home.

This easily forgotten task, if done routinely, will benefit you and your family in several ways:

  • Fire safety
  • Prevent carbon monoxide gases from entering your home
  • Energy savings
  • Extended dryer life
  • Time saving

Check out the safety alert article published by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission: Overheated Clothes Dryers Can Cause Fires.

In addition to preventing a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, cleaning your dryer vent will save you time and money. A well maintained dryer vent will take less time to dry your clothes. A blocked vent can take 3 – 4 times as long to dry your clothes. Cleaning it will save on energy costs and you will spend less time doing laundry.

Here are a few questions to determine if your dryer vent needs cleaning:

  • Is your dryer vent over 8 feet long?
  • Has it been over 3 years since your last cleaning?
  • Is the top of your dryer hot to the touch when it is running?
  • Do your clothes smell slightly musty after drying?

Here are some warning signs of a plugged vent:

  • Excess lint behind the dryer
  • Longer drying time (another over 60 minutes is too long)
  • No lint on the lint screen
  • Excess lint on your clothing
  • Your dryer just is not working

If you answered yes to any of these questions or can identify with the warning signs, it’s time to clean your dryer vent. You can find lots of tips and tricks on cleaning your dryer vent online. The most important thing is to be safe! If you are not confident you understand the instructions, call in a professional to help.

Connell’s Real Estate Services is always here to help, give us a call 612.314.9015.