The Importance of Getting Your Dryer Vent Cleaned

It’s probably not something you think about often, but neglecting your dryer vent can have a lot of downsides and even lead to disastrous consequences. Getting them cleaned on an annual basis can save you time, money and prevent serious damage to your property. Let’s take a look at why you should get your dryer vents cleaned, signs that it’s time for a cleaning and the DIY approach vs hiring the pros.

Why You Should Get Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

One of the biggest reasons you need to think about keeping your vents clean is to prevent fires. Lint and heat are the perfect environment for things to go up in flames. In fact, there are thousands of structure fires caused by this every year. With such a simple preventative measure there is no reason that these fires should happen at all. Getting your vents cleaned can save you from serious damage to your property and can even save lives and prevent injuries.

Another danger, specifically with gas dryers, is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The restricted air flow from clogged ducts can force this odorless gas into your home instead of letting it escape to the outdoors. According to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisoning sends around 50,000 people to the hospital nationwide each year, some of which are due to clogged dryer ducts and vents.

Besides preventing dangerous situations, there are other benefits to keeping clean ducts and vents. If you maintain your dryer set up, then it will run more efficiently. Your clothes will dry more thoroughly and quickly, it will put less wear on your clothes so they will last longer, and you will spend less on utility bills. A dryer’s job is to take moisture out of your clothes and deliver it safely to the outside, with lint clogging up your ducts and vents, this makes it harder for the dryer to effectively do its job. Blocking moisture from escaping through the vent will force it to stay inside, which can lead to mold problems.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

Signs That It’s Time to Clean Your Ducts and Vents

There are some definite warning signs that your ducts and vents are clogged with lint or other obstructions and will need to be cleaned out in order to prevent fires and inefficiencies. Keep your eyes out for the following:

  • Your dryer can’t get your clothes dry in one cycle. This might be a problem with the dryer itself, but more often than not the problem is that moisture from wet clothes can’t escape through clogged ducts and vents, keeping clothes damp for longer.
  • There is lint that has collected beyond the lint filter. If you see lint beyond the lint filter, there’s a good chance that it has already made its way into the ducts and vents and settled there.
  • The exterior vent doesn’t open or you can’t feel flowing air when you put your hand one foot away from the vent. If air is not flowing, then it is most likely being blocked on its way through the ducting.
  • If you smell something burning. This is a serious sign that you are in danger of starting a fire. If you smell burning lint, then stop the dryer immediately and get the ducts and vents cleaned out before using the dryer again.
  • If your clothes are hot to the touch after the cycle has completed. If your clothes are still hot after the drying cycle has completed, then your dryer is having trouble pushing out all of the hot air that it’s supposed to.
  • Look for bird nests on the exterior vent. Bird nests in the dryer ducts can cause a full blockage in the vent, destroy the dryer, and create a fire. If these nests are active and there are birds nesting in them, the nests cannot be removed.

Be aware of these signs and take action if you notice any of these.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

DIY vs Hiring the Pros

There are some situations where it makes more sense to do this job yourself. If your ducting is straight and less than 7 ft long, then you can probably take care of this yourself with a shop vac and a brush. In many cases there are angles and bends in the ducting, and you are probably better off calling in the pros. There are kits out there that you can get that are designed for this, however, the quality can be varied and without the proper experience you can risk putting holes in your ducts. This will lead to moisture problems if you run your dryer after puncturing the aluminum duct.

Calling professional dryer vent cleaners can save you the time and trouble it takes to get your ducts clean. They have the proper equipment, from vacuums to air compressors, as well as the knowledge and experience to make sure your ducts and vents are good to go. If you have a rental home or manage and apartment complex, then you’ll be interested to hear that SNUGS has developed methods to clean the dryer vent from the outside of the building, causing very limited disruption to your tenants.

In most cases it is in your best interest to call the professionals. They have a trained eye and can spot if there are any potential problems or repairs that need to be made as well, which can potentially save you from more expensive repairs down the road.


Getting your ducts and vents cleaned on an annual basis will prevent fires and carbon monoxide problems, help keep your dryer running at maximum efficiency and can save you time and money. Keep your eyes out for tell tale signs of clogging and call in the professionals to get the job done right.

Snugs Pro Wash, Inc, dba SNUGS Services, has been providing high quality Pressure Washing Services in Portland, OR since 1995. Started as a residential pressure washing and roof cleaning service, SNUGS is now one of the leading exterior cleaning companies in the Northwest. From our humble beginnings as a man with a truck and a trailer we have grown to become a multi-million dollar company serving corporate customers, name brands, and mom and pop companies alike.

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