Many homeowners don’t realize that dryer vent cleaning is a service that is often offered by a chimney sweep. I offer dryer vent cleaning as one of my services because it’s another messy part of home maintenance that a lot of homeowners don’t want to have to deal with. You have to disconnect the hose from both the dryer and the wall, and then clean both the hose and the vent. But when should you clean your dryer vent? Is there a schedule for it or will your dryer let you know when the vent is dirty? Here are five questions to ask yourself to determine whether you need to clean your dryer vent.
- Is my dryer taking more than an hour to dry a normal load of laundry?
- Is the air flow on the exit side of the hose as strong as normal?
- Does your laundry room feel moist or more humid than normal?
- Does your interior lint trap catch more lint than normal?
- Does the dryer feel like it is overheating when in use?
Your dryer should take 30 to 45 minutes to dry a normal load of laundry. Heavy materials like blue jeans will, of course, take longer to dry than t-shirts, but the general rule of thumb is about 30 to 45 minutes per load. Most people just start their dryer cycle and move on to other responsibilities, so it’s difficult to judge by time alone. If you need to start the dryer cycle more than one time for the same load of laundry, it may not be working appropriately.
Checking the exterior air flow from your dryer is as simple as walking outside while the dryer is running. Put your hand in front of the vent exit and see if you feel air. If you’ve never done this before, you won’t really know what normal should feel like. The flow of air should be strong enough to feel like a gentle breeze on a summer day.
Moisture in the air in the laundry room is a surefire sign that the dryer vent and hose need to be cleaned. Your dryer shouldn’t double as a humidifier.
The lint trap inside your dryer catches the first bits of lint that come off of laundry during the drying process. If you’re cleaning more lint from the trap than normal, the hose is probably causing problems.
Your dryer will create heat while it is drying your clothing as part of its normal cycle. The exterior of the dryer will get warm, but should never be hot to the touch or hot enough to create radiant heat to warm the entire room. If it is getting too hot, it has to work too hard to dry the clothing.
When to Clean the Dryer Vent
Your dryer vent should be cleaned at least once per year. A four-person household should consider cleaning the vent twice per year based on the amount of laundry a larger family does each week. Call me at 610-626-2439 any time to discuss issues surrounding your dryer vent or for dryer hose and vent cleaning.