How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?

Laundry is likely a task you complete without much thought. Put the clothes into the washer, add detergent, let the cycle run, and then put the clothes into the dryer. It’s pretty straightforward – but maybe you need to give this process a little more attention. You should, for instance, have a professional clean your dryer vents to keep the machine in optimal condition and help safeguard your home against fire. But, how often should you clean your dryer duct?

This depends on how much use your dryer gets, but generally speaking, having it professionally cleaned once per year is a good place to start. If your household often uses the dryer, however – as often happens with children and/or pets – you’ll be better off having the vent cleaned once every 6 months or so.

You can tell it’s time for a professional cleaning simply by paying attention to the dryer. If clothes take longer to dry, such as needing to run them for a second cycle, the vent is likely plugged. This may also be true if:

  • Clothes come out extremely hot
  • The dryer emits a burning or musty smell while running
  • The dryer itself is hot to the touch while operating

Reasons It’s Important to Keep Your Dryer Vents Clean

It’s easy to take your dryer for granted until it abruptly quits working. Routine maintenance is therefore just one of the reasons you should have the vent regularly cleaned. When the vent becomes clogged, the entire machine is forced to work harder. This means parts can wear more quickly, and the dryer as a whole can break down long before its lifespan would have otherwise ended.

Regular vent cleanings can also protect you, your family, and your home. Dryers produce and gather highly flammable lint. Without proper cleaning, this lint builds and prevents the dryer from properly exhausting. That accumulation will either remain in the housing or disperse back into the dryer. Meanwhile, the extreme heat produced by a dryer, in combination with a backlog of lint, creates the perfect scenario for a fire.

How Does Lint Get Trapped in the Dryer Vent?

Although your dryer contains a lint trap, this is not a fail-proof tool. Some particles still enter into the vent hose and exhaust out of the home. That’s why when you go outside and look at the dryer vent cap, you can often see a scattering of string, lint, and other materials. Over time, the lint builds a cake-like substance that doesn’t move. It simply remains within the vent and coats the cap as well.

The next time you go outside, glance at the dryer vent cap to see if it needs cleaning. If it appears covered in lint, chances are good the duct needs to be cleaned as well.
Keep in mind the recommendation to clean your dryer duct once or twice annually is merely a guideline. You can, in fact, have it cleaned more often if your dryer endures a lot of use. Your best bet is to call a professional company that can restore maximum airflow to your machine and keep it in proper working order. Learn more about our vent cleaning services by calling or emailing Dryer Ducks today.

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