Whether you've got a gas or electric clothes dryer in your home, the fact remains that your dryer has a lint vent that needs to be cleaned out at least once every couple of years. Otherwise, your dryer vent can become clogged with lint to the point that it becomes a major fire hazard (or a carbon monoxide poisoning hazard, if you have a gas dryer). While dryer vent cleaning is something that homeowners can do themselves, it's generally best to hire a professional so as to ensure that it's done correctly.
Be aware of these warning signs that it's time for professional vent cleaning at your home:
Your Clothes Are Too Hot to Touch
While your clothes should be nice and warm after a heat cycle in the dryer, they shouldn't be too hot to touch. If you notice that your clothes are extremely hot when you go to take them out of the dryer or that the exterior of the dryer is hot to the touch, this could be a sign that your dryer's heat exhaust isn't working as it should be. In many cases, this is caused by a buildup of lint in the vent itself.
Your Exterior Vent Hood Doesn't Open
If you live in a home, your dryer's exhaust vent leads to an exterior flap or hood on the side of your home. When your dryer is running, you'll notice the appearance of steam coming from this vent when you're outside. As a dryer's exhaust vent becomes clogged with lint, however, your home's exterior vent hood may not be able to open all the way. When you inspect the vent hood itself, you might even see some lint caked around the vent opening. This is a sure sign that you're in dire need of dryer vent cleaning.
Your Clothes Are Taking Longer to Dry
Finally, even if you don't notice any of these other warning signs, you should consider a clogged dryer vent as a possibility if you've begun to notice that your clothes are taking longer to dry than usual. When your dryer's vent is clogged, it's unable to expel the moist, hot air during a drying cycle.
Instead, that moist air stays trapped within the dryer, making it nearly impossible for your clothes to dry within a regular cycle. This is not only a fire hazard, but will result in higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your clothes dryer.
To learn more, contact a company like Home-Plus Duct Cleaning with any questions you have.