For BuyersFor HomeownersFor SellersHome maintenance tips June 29, 2010

Got Lint? Clean Your Dryer Vent

Dryer Vent Lint

Lint From A Dryer Vent

There were big gray clumps of lint and this is only 1/4 of what was removed from the clothes dryer vent!   Ironic, since the dryer vent had recently been cleaned out in a do-it-yourself project, which apparently had not worked.  The duct work is a fairly long line, which makes it even more difficult for a do-it-yourself job.

Bel-Red Energy Solutions* cleaned out my dryer vent which was loaded with lint, even though I thought it had been cleaned out weeks before. Dryers are among the major causes of house fires.

Check the vent on the outside your home to see if the air flow is moving well.  Do this on a regular basis. You’ll know if the air flow becomes weak, which is a good indication of blockage in the vent line.  Here are some other warning signs from

  • Clothes take longer and longer to dry;
  • Clothes don’t fully dry;
  • Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of the drying cycle;
  • The outside of dryer gets very hot;
  • The outside exhaust vent flapper does not open very much indicating low exhaust velocity;
  • Laundry room becomes more humid than it is usually;
  • Burnt smell is evident in the laundry room.

So mark your calendar.  Have your dryer vent cleaned regularly  to eliminate a fire hazard.  Do-it yourself systems may work for some duct lines, particularly if the dryer duct line is short.  I was impressed, however, by the motor Bel-Red brought along to power the hose that cleaned out the vents.  That puppy really sucked the lint out of the vent.

Here are some more tips on dryer vent cleaning, maintenance and safety.

And the silver lining in all this? A dryer vent that works more efficiently will save you money on your monthly utility bill.

*As always, choose your contractor wisely. Check out any contractor you hire.   Make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.  Obtain recommendations from other clients and check the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and other resources.