Five Signs Your Dryer Vent Is Definitely Clogged

Front-loading clothes dryer in kitchen with plants on top surface

If you’re like many homeowners, you pop a load of freshly cleaned wet clothing into your dryer a few times each week, turn it on, and walk away. Assuming everything goes according to plan, you return several minutes later once the dryer turns off automatically and voila – dry clothes. But lately, you’ve noticed some items are still mildly damp, even after an extended drying cycle. What gives? It’s possible there’s some kind of blockage, meaning this could be a good time to call an Arvada dryer vent cleaning professional for help.


The biggest risk of a clogged dryer vent is the risk of fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association and Consumer Reports, dryer vent-related fires are responsible for 344 civilian injuries, seven deaths, and $233 million in property damage each year. If you suspect there’s a problem with your dryer, call a vent cleaner near you to schedule a cleaning appointment.


Increased drying time

Sometimes clothing takes longer to dry than expected if you use the incorrect time setting, but if you’ve noticed your clothes take longer to dry even with the right drying cycle, then there could be a problem. When a dryer vent is clogged, drying time can double or triple. Besides the need for a longer drying time, your clothes may not dry completely no matter what setting you use.

Wow those clothes are hot

Do your clothes seem hotter than normal when removed from the dryer? If the answer’s yes, an Arvada dryer vent cleaning specialist may warn you this is a sign the dryer vent isn’t exhausting air properly. Another sign of trouble is your laundry room feeling warmer than usual. This could mean the heater and the blower in your dryer are wearing out faster than they should.

What’s that smell?

If there’s a noticeable burning smell when the dryer is in use, it’s likely due to lint getting too hot. When your dryer is running constantly because of lint buildup, it gets hotter than normal and could burn the lint, which is a huge fire hazard. A repeated burning smell is a serious problem. Stop using the dryer, and call an Arvada dryer repair professional for help.

Visible vents are blocked

There are two vent openings you should check out, one on the outside of your home, the other on the back of the dryer. If you notice that the exterior vent has lint and dust in it, your dryer vent could be blocked. If the flaps attached to the vent don't open, that means they're caked with lint or other debris, and need the vent needs to be cleaned or replaced. You may also need to replace your dryer vent hose at the same time.

Also, if you observe less than normal debris inside the dryer lint filter, it could mean that lint is going into the large vent instead and clogging that, too.

The dryer is hot to the touch

When running properly, the exterior of your dryer shouldn’t feel too hot to touch. If it’s noticeably warmer than usual, it’s likely due to heat and moisture not being able to escape – a sign the vent is clogged. This forces your dryer to work harder and potentially overheat.

If the exterior of your dryer is extremely hot, shut it off immediately and call to have it professionally cleaned as soon as possible.


  • Call an Arvada dryer vent cleaning professional for a consultation or cleaning appointment. Due to safety concerns, most companies won’t offer cleaning tips over the phone, but will gladly schedule a no-obligation appointment to inspect your dryer for problems.
  • Most people take this tip for granted, but we tell all of our clients the dryer lint filter should be checked and cleaned after every use. If you do this from the first use, it should become second nature. When you’re drying a load, go outside and look at the vent. Do you see or feel exhaust air? If not, the vent or exhaust duct may be blocked with lint. Not only will this help prevent a fire but allow your clothes to dry faster.
  • Get rid of accordion-style ducts. Normally, dryers feature a 4-inch vent in the back, which installers or homeowners connect to the outside vent with a duct. But if you see a plastic or foil accordion-style duct has been installed, it’s a nice idea to replace it. These kinds of ducts are potentially dangerous because they may sag, allowing lint to build up and get trapped in their ridges. We recommend a rigid metal duct for better airflow and to prevent lint buildup. One other tip: Use duct connectors and foil tape or metal clamps to join duct sections instead of sheet-metal screws, which can catch lint and lead to blocked vents.
  • Be careful with clothing stained with chemicals, paint, or other substances. Certain chemicals are combustible at high temperatures generated by dryers, so make sure that stains or chemicals are washed out completely before drying them. If needed, such clothing can be hung dry.


At Steve’s Air Duct Cleaning, our experienced technicians are IICRC certified and utilize commercial grade truck-mounted vacuums and the patented ram air system to make sure dryer vent cleaning is done right the first time, every time. Call us today at 720-419-7792 for more information.

Next Post Previous Post

Start Breathing Easier.

Your air ducts are the lungs of your home and keeping them clean keeps you and your family healthier and your HVAC equipment working optimally.