How Often Should Clothes Dryer Vents Be Professionally Cleaned


Your clothes dryer is only as good as its vent. Seriously. Cleaning it regularly is a must.

But how often should you be calling the pros to come clean your dryer vent? The simple answer is at least once a year, especially if you notice that your dryer isn’t drying your clothes as well as it usually does. This once-a-year recommendation comes from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).


What is a Dryer Vent and Where is it Located?

A dryer vent is a ducted opening towards the exterior of your home that expels the dust and debris that is released as your clothes dry.

You can easily identify it at the back of your dryer as they also connect the aluminum-made vent pipe to the wall duct of the dryer. Typically, the vent is enclosed in a box that also has a gas supply there for most average homes with a gas dryer.


When Do You Need to Clean the Dryer Vents More Often?

As said earlier, the rule of thumb is cleaning the dryer vent once a year to prevent it from clogging up the dryer. However, in some specific cases you are required to clean the dryer vents more often, depending on how your dryer is performing and how often you use it.

If you feel annual cleaning of the dryer vent is not doing the job and the clothes are coming out still moist, you may clean them several times a year.

Also, if you are a pet owner, your dryer vent will probably need more frequent cleaning as more hair and pet dander accumulate.

And lastly, consider the kinds of clothes you dry to help you determine when and how often to have the vent cleaned. If you are drying lightweight synthetic fabrics and cottons during the summer, less lint will built up. But if it’s the winter season and you’re drying wool sweaters and heavier materials that easily shed, then your dryer is more likely to have a clogged vent.


Why Do You Need to Clean the Dryer Vent?

When you dry clothes in a dryer and fail to keep your vent clean, all the dirt and debris accumulating will eventually make it clogged.

This dirty dryer vent then causes difficulty for the dryer to soak all the moisture from the clothes. As a result, clothes in the dryer come out damp or not properly dried with a musty smell. Due to this, the vents face trouble in properly cleaning and drying all the clothes within the set time, so you feel like you have to turn on the dryer again for the same load.

In addition, dryer vents that have not been cleaned for ages can be the major cause of starting a fire.

In fact, the majority of fires in a home have to do with clothes dryers.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), approximately 15,970 fires come from cloth dryers because of their uncleaned parts, such as dryer vents. This means the dryer can be the most dangerous appliance if not maintained properly. To protect yourself and your property from dryer hazards, all you need to do is to clean the dryer vents once a year by a professional.


How to Know Your Dryer Vents Need Cleaning?

You can easily identify when your dryer vents need cleaning. One of the most common signs is when your dryer doesn’t dry the clothes properly.

Some other signs that your dryer vents need cleaning include:

  • The dryer takes more than the usual time to dry the clothes.
  • The exterior body of the dryer overheats during the drying process.
  • Collection of dust and debris around the dryer vents.
  • The cap of the dryer gets difficult to open due to the collection of lint.
  • A burning sensation emanates from the dryer while drying.
  • A clogged dryer vent takes time to turn the dryer off.
  • Unusual fire sparks emerging from the dryer.
  • Water leakage from the dryer due to damage to the dryer vent and clothes’ inability to be dried.


How are Dryer Vents Cleaned Professionally?

The best way to make sure your dryer vents get cleaned properly is to give the responsibility to a professional. By doing this, your dryer vents will stay clean on a regular basis. It’s better to choose someone who has the prior experience in cleaning and unclogging vents without any risk of fire.

Some of the common jobs of a professional dryer cleaner are:

  • Removing lint accumulations
  • Cleaning the debris
  • Dusting off the build-up
  • Cleaning the filter
  • Using a protective lining to secure the hose
  • Inspecting vents and gas connection for hazards


How to Check the Dirt in the Dryer Vent?

Even if you don’t see any problem in the working of the dryer, it’s better to check it to save yourself from any potential danger in the future.

To do this, open the vent cap of the dryer and take a deep look inside it. If the dryer vent is dirty, you may likely see it filled with lint, strings, dirt, fur, hair, etc.

If not, close it back up and make it a regular habit to keep checking frequently.


Relevant Questions

What happens if you don’t clean your dryer vents?

If you don’t clean your dryer vents regularly, the dirt will prevent the dryer from exhausting hot air, resulting in overheating of the machine and clothes that don’t dry.

It can also cause a fire.


Is dryer cleaning worth it?

The cleaning of dryer vents is absolutely necessary and worth every penny. It mitigates the risk of any fire hazard and keeps your dryer to work efficiently.


Should you hire a professional or clean the dryer vents yourself?

While it isn’t difficult to clean a dryer vent, if you’re short on time or not very handy yourself, it’s worth hiring a professional.