How to Tell If Your Dryer Ducts Need Replacing

Interior view of clothes dryer

Here are some disquieting statistics for you: according to FEMA there are 3,000 house fires in the US each year that start in the dryer duct. Those 3,000 fires cause $35 million in damage while injuring hundreds and causing on average 5 deaths per year. All because homeowners neglected to pay heed to the signs that their dryer duct was clogged.

But while dryer duct cleaning is an essential part of regular home maintenance there are times when the problem goes beyond the vent being clogged. In such cases, it will need to be either repaired or replaced. In this post, we're going to take a close look at the telltale signs that your dryer duct may need replacing.

Signs That Indicate Your Dryer Duct May Need Replacement

If you know what to look for it is not hard to spot the signs that all is not well with your dryer duct. This tiny component of your Arvada home’s infrastructure is more important than you know and making sure it’s always clear and in good working order is essential. The following are signs you don’t want to ignore that indicate dryer vent cleaning, or perhaps even dryer vent replacement, is in order.

Excessive buildup of lint

Every dryer produces lint. It’s a natural byproduct of the drying process and the reason there is a lint filter on the dryer. But no lint filter is capable of capturing all the lint generated by the average dryer. As such, a lot of it winds up in the dryer duct where it can accumulate. Once it does it forms the fuel that drives the dryer vent fires we mentioned above. Some excess lint will escape the dryer altogether and wind up on the floor around the unit. If you see lint around the dryer vent cover outside the house, or on the floor around the dryer, you have a problem that needs immediate attention.

The laundry room becomes increasingly humid

A laundry room where everything is functioning properly will maintain the same environment as the rest of the house. If, however, the laundry room becomes especially humid it’s a pretty reliable sign that there is a problem with the dryer duct. It may be clogged with lint, or it may be broken at some point along its length. In either case, it needs to be looked at immediately.

The dryer is not working efficiently

If you put your clothes through the normal dry cycle and they come out damp it’s a sign that the moist air from the dryer is not being properly vented. That, in turn, indicates you have a problem with the dryer vent. It could be that the vent is clogged and you need immediate dryer duct cleaning. Or it could be that the vent has been damaged or somehow become detached either at the dryer end or at the end leading to the vent on the exterior of your home. In either case, you should get in touch with Steve’s Air Duct Cleaning service and let our pros have a look at it.

The dryer is unnaturally hot

The modern clothes dryer uses heat to evaporate moisture in clothes. The heat and moisture are then removed from the dryer via the dryer duct. If the dryer duct is clogged, broken or otherwise out of service neither the moisture nor the heat created during the drying process will have anywhere to go. So the air in the room will become more humid, as we noted above, and the dryer itself is likely to become hotter because heat is backing up inside the unit. If you touch the unit toward the end of the dry cycle and discover it is hot, it likely means there is an issue with the dryer vent and it may need to be repaired or replaced.

When to Repair and When to Replace?

If you catch the problem with your dryer duct early enough you may be able to avoid the hassle (and cost) of having to replace it. Regular dryer vent cleaning, for instance, is the best way to prevent lint from clogging up the dryer duct and potentially causing a fire. Keeping the vent clear will also prevent most of the other symptoms of trouble we listed above, such as a hot, humid laundry room and a dryer unit that is hot to the touch.

There may come a time, however, when cleaning or repairing the dryer vent just isn’t enough and it will need to be replaced. Replacement is usually necessary if the vent is old and dried out and has developed cracks that are undermining its ability to properly vent heat and moisture.

Birds are another common reason people need to replace their dryer vents. Like all animals, birds look to provide a safe, warm environment for their young. If the dryer vent cover on the outside of the house is loose a bird could easily work its way in and establish a nest. This happens far more often than most people realize.

Expert Dryer Duct Cleaning in Arvada

Failure to act when dryer ducts are showing signs of distress could have catastrophic consequences. If you notice any signs of trouble don’t bother searching for “dryer vent cleaning near me", just call Steve's Air Duct Cleaning at (720) 419-7792. We'll send someone to your home to determine if you need duct cleaning, duct repair or a full-on replacement.

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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.