A clogged dryer may be caused by an accumulation of lint, which restricts airflow in the ventilation system. The lint that has developed for a while affects the normal operation of your dryer vent and may even cause a fire.
A clogged dryer can also be caused by items falling into the lint trap. If you forget to remove elements from your pockets, such as coins or gum wrappers, they can easily fall into the lint entrapment and get sucked in by the vent, causing a blockage. Numerous signs can indicate that your dryer vent is clogged.
Excess Dry Times
One sign that your dryer vent is clogged is when you get damp clothes out of your dryer during a regular dry cycle. The drying time should not exceed 30 to 40 minutes per load. If your clothes take longer to dry, it is a sign that your dryer vent has clogged. A clogged dryer vent traps air, keeping the clothes hot and moist. If you remove your laundry from the dryer and find that they are no longer fully drying, it is time to clean your vent.
If your dryer is clogged, it strains itself and works harder than usual to dry your clothes. That means the appliance will get extra hot during a cleaning cycle. A dryer is designed to exhaust moisture and heat when drying. If that moisture and heat do not leave the dryer, it will take longer to dry your clothes and become extremely hot. The excessive heat buildup causes your dryer to overheat; it becomes hot on the exterior and may ultimately ignite a fire.
A Burnt Smell
If you notice an unusual scent coming from your dryer, it is a warning sign that your vent is clogged. If too much lint develops inside the dryer, it will produce a weird smell. A burnt smell can also signify a failing belt or motor. Remove your laundry from the machine and contact an expert to fix the problem.
Before starting a new dry cleaning cycle, it is best to clean out your lint tray or filter; however, if you start noticing more lint than usual every time you clean it out, it is a sign that you have a clogged dryer vent. You may notice that lint has also accumulated around your dryer, laundry room, and outside the lint filter.
Higher Energy Bills
A high utility bill is an unpleasant surprise. When your energy costs are rising, your dryer might be the cause. If this appliance does not function properly, it has to operate harder than usual, using more energy to dry your clothes. If the vent is clogged, the motor must try harder to compensate for those blockages. You will need to put your clothes through a drying cycle more than once to get them truly dry. The result is a significant increase in your monthly energy bill.
Dryers are designed with an in-built switch that activates when the motor senses it is overheating. A clogged dryer vent limits the airflow, and the machine becomes too hot to the point that it trips and shuts down to cool. Restarting the dryer before it has cooled can be a big issue. There can be a risk of an electrical fire if the dryer continues to overheat.
Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning
Regularly scheduled dryer maintenance will help to keep your appliance running smoothly. If you notice any of the above signs, your safest option is to talk to a professional who can ensure your appliance is not a fire hazard. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a risk from a clogged dryer vent.
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