Safety, efficiency, machine longevity: these are some of the most common reasons people give as to why you should have your dryer vents cleaned. If none of these have spurred you into action, then this one might: it can save you money!
Before you understand how a clean dryer vent can save you money, it’s crucial to understand how they become dirty and thus clogged in the first place.
Why do dryer vents get dirty?
Your dryer works by spinning wet clothes in a heated drum. As your clothes dry, damp hair, lint, and some of the stuff stuck in your pockets are blown through a tube and out your dryer vent. Because the air it’s pushing is moist and has debris, buildup occurs over time.
Buildup can cause A LOT of problems. First off, it can be downright dangerous. Lint is flammable, and your dryer gets very hot. Clogged dryer vents are a real fire hazard.
A clogged dryer vent can also mean a dryer that doesn’t work as well. Many people think their dryer is broken, only to discover clothes have been coming out damp because their vent is backed up by debris.
Clogged dryer vents also cost you serious money. Your dryer will have to work much harder to get clothes dry. A dryer with a clogged vent will have a hard time getting rid of moisture in clothes. As water is trapped by lint buildup, your clothes will be more challenging to dry and you’ll likely have to repeat your dryer cycle. This means higher bills as more energy is consumed.
It could also result in excess wear and tear on your dryer, which could lead to pricey maintenance and replacements. A dryer that has to work harder in order to do its job will cause elements to endure excessive force that could lead to damage. If your dryer vent is clogged, you may notice yourself calling maintenance more or even replacing your dryer prematurely.
Clogged dryers can damage some of your favourite clothing items. A clogged vent can lead to condensation inside the duct, creating a damp environment. This moisture can promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can transfer onto your clothing during the drying process and potentially cause stains or unpleasant odors. When a dryer vent is clogged, lint accumulates more quickly inside the dryer and the vent duct. As the lint builds up, it can get trapped in the crevices of the dryer drum and the lint trap. This means pilling and linty clothes.
What are some of the signs your dryer is clogged?
Bills that are rising mysteriously could be an indication that your dryer vent is clogged. If you have been noticing your energy bill is creeping up and can’t think of a reason, check your dryer vent.
Long cycles could be an indication of a clogged dryer vent. Many dryers will only end their cycles once an adequate amount of moisture has exited their barrels. Since a clogged dryer vent traps moisture, your cycles could take hours to end.
Stinky clothing is another sign of a stuffed up vent. Not only will clothes be damp in your dryer, but smells of old lint and mildew from the clogged vent could be seeping into your dryer as well.
Pulling your clothes out of the dryer to find them misshapen, discoloured, and covered in lint is another sign that your dryer is not functioning well and needs to have its vent checked.
Your lint trap can also reveal a few secrets about what is going on with your dryer vent. If you notice an excessive amount of lint in the lint trap after each cycle, it might be a sign of a clogged vent.
What should you do if you notice any of these signs?
Go outside where the dryer vent exhausts air. Feel for the air coming out of the vent. There should be a strong flow of air. If the airflow is weak, it might indicate a clog. If this is the case, you can try checking the dryer vent hose yourself. Carefully disconnect the dryer from the power source and move it away from the wall. You can then detach the vent hose from the back of the dryer and look inside for any visible signs of lint buildup or obstruction. Only do this if it’s easy for you to detach the hose.
When it comes to any dryer issue, it’s always best to call in the professionals. These machines can be dangerous, and you don’t want to risk anything malfunctioning. Professionals have the tools and expertise to thoroughly clean out the vent system and ensure its proper functioning.
Don’t waste money on a clogged up vent. If you live in the Winnipeg area and need a second opinion on your dryer woes, contact Whyte Ridge Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning. We’ll evaluate your vent and get your dryer (and utility bills) back to normal in no time.