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The dangers of clogged clothing dryer vents

Keeping your clothes dryer running safely and efficiently depends on your care and maintenance of it. When your dryer is in use, lint from clothes and linens escapes and gets sucked into the dryer vent. Some of it is captured by the lint screen, but some of the lint gets into the vents. In the vents, the lint sticks to the vent walls.

removing dryer lint

Over time, that lint builds up and can severely restrict or completely block the dryer vents. Clogged dryer vents create several dangers for your home. Those dangers include:

  • Clothes dryer fires
  • Carbon monoxide buildup
  • Inefficient dryer operation
  • Shortened dryer lifespan

Dangers of clogged dryer vents

Clothes dryers do have heating elements that can catch fire, and clogged dryer vents are the leading cause of dryer fires. Clogged vents prevent hot air from escaping the dryer. That hot air builds up, and the heating element begins working overtime to compensate and cause the heating element to burst into flames. 

There is more than hot air exhausts through your clothes dryer vents. If you have a gas dryer, the carbon monoxide generated by the combustion in the dryer exhausts through the dryer vents. If the vents are clogged, carbon monoxide can’t escape through the vent. Instead, it builds up within your home. If it goes unchecked, it can build up to sicken your family and there is even a risk of death.

At a minimum, clogged dryer vents prevent your dryer from operating properly and efficiently. It will take longer for you to dry each load of laundry. You’ll run your dryer multiple times, which cost you more time and money. Because clogged dryer vents cause your dryer to work overtime to compensate for inefficient exhausting, it can shorten the lifespan of it.

Keeping your home safe from the dangers of clogged dryer vents

The best way to keep your home safe from the dangers of clogged dryer vents is to prevent a buildup of lint in your dryer vents. To keep your dryer vents clear of lint and keep your dryer operating safely and efficiently, there are some things you can do.

You can clean the lint trap between each load of laundry. If the lint trap is full of lint, there is nowhere for the lint to go but into your dryer vents. You should never run your dryer without the lint trap in place. It’s also a great idea to schedule a professional dryer vent inspection and cleaning with us at least once a year. Professional dryer vent cleaning employs rotating brushes and high-powered vacuums to fully clear all the lint from your dryer vents.

Reach out to our professional for a dryer vent cleaning or inspection

You need to know the signs of clogged dryer vents. When you know the warning signs of clogged dryer vents, this gives you time to get a much-needed dryer vent cleaning before it is a major hazard. When vents are restricted, dryer cycles will take longer to dry your laundry, clothes may smell musty. You may also smell a burning smell when the dryer is running, or laundry room may become unusually warm when the dryer is operating.

If your clothes dryer is showing signs of clogged vents or if you’re overdue for a professional dryer vent cleaning, call Total Chimney Care! Our certified technicians can clean your dryer vents to keep your home safe from the dangers of clogged dryer vents!

By Steve Sobczak on June 14th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Save on Your Dryer Vent Cleanings

Dryer vent cleaning is a crucial part of home maintenance. The lint that builds up in your dryer each time you dry a load of laundry can cause your dryer to overheat and catch fire. It can also burn out your dryer prematurely. Finally, it can cause the carbon monoxide produced by your dryer’s combustion to build up to dangerous levels within your home. This summer, you can save money while keeping your home and family safe from the dangers posed by clogged dryer vents. When you schedule a summer dryer vent cleaning with Total Chimney Care, you’ll save $50!

So how do you know if your dryer vents are due for a cleaning? Professionals recommend annual dryer vent cleanings and inspections to prevent dryer fires. Here are the most common signs that your dryer vents require immediate cleaning:

 Longer Drying Times

The first sign that your dryer vents require cleaning usually is longer drying times. When your dryer isn’t exhausting properly, the moisture will be trapped in your dryer with your laundry, and clothes and linens won’t dry as quickly as they should. Generally, a load of clothes should take no more than 40 minutes to dry. A load of towels or heavier items shouldn’t take longer than 50 minutes to dry.

Lint Buildup

Is your dryer spewing lint? If your vents are clogged, the lint generated by your clothes will have nowhere to go. You’ll see lint building up around the lint trap, in the dryer drum, at the back of your dryer where the vent attaches to the dryer, and even outside your home where the dryer vent exhausts.


Clogged dryer vents cause your dryer’s heating element to work overtime, and as a result, the dryer overheats as it works to dry your laundry. If your vents are clogged, you might notice that clothes seem abnormally hot when they come out of the dryer. The dryer itself may also feel hot to the touch or the entire laundry room may heat up significantly during operation.


Your laundry should smell nothing but fresh, and clogged dryer vents can bring out all sorts of odors in your laundry and in your laundry room. You might smell a musty odor because laundry isn’t drying fast enough, a burning smell because of dryer overheating, or the abnormally strong smell of fabric softener because the scent isn’t escaping through your dryer vents.

Closed Dryer Vent Flap

The dryer vent flap located outside your home on the dryer exhaust should flap open to let air out during use. When running the dryer, check to see if the vent flap is opening. A closed flap means your dryer vent is completely clogged.

If your dryer is showing signs of clogged dryer vents or if your vents are overdue for a cleaning and inspection, call Total Chimney Care today to schedule your summer dryer vent cleaning and enjoy $50 in savings!

By Steve Sobczak on June 29th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Risks of dirty dryer vents

Risks of dirty dryer vents Image - Fairfield & New Haven CT - Total Chimney Care LLCYour clothing dryer might be the most dangerous item within your home. While much attention is paid to preventing fires with chimney sweeping and inspection, dryer vent cleaning remains largely ignored. Unfortunately, dirty dryer vents can pose major risks to your home and your family.

Dirty dryer vents are a leading fire hazard.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Incident Reporting System, clothing dryers cause approximately 2,900 home fires each year. Those fires cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property damage. In 34 percent of cases, dirty dryer vents were to blame in causing the fires. The lint that accumulates within dryers and dryer vents is highly combustible. Each time a load of laundry runs through the dryer, lint bypasses the lint trap and sticks within the walls of the dryer vents. When heat can’t escape beyond the lint blockages, the heat builds up and can ignite the lint or the clothing within the dryer.

Clogged dryer vents can allow carbon monoxide to build up within your home.

Just like the heat from your dryer, carbon monoxide can be blocked by lint clogging your dryer vents. If the carbon dioxide created by your dryer’s combustion can’t exit through the dryer vents, the carbon monoxide backs up into the dryer and into your home. When carbon monoxide levels within a home become too high, they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning in your family or your pets. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to hospitalization, brain damage and even death.

Dirty dryer vents can increase your home energy bills.

When your dryer vents are clogged, your dryer can’t work properly. Clothes take longer to dry, meaning you run dryer cycle after dryer cycle to get your laundry completely dry. All of those extra dryer cycles can drive up your home energy bills.

Lint buildup can shorten the life of your dryer.

Dirty dryer vents inhibit your dryer’s ability to operate correctly. Dirty dryer vents interfere with your dryer’s efficiency and shorten its life expectancy. As was mentioned, dirty dryer vents also can cause your dryer to overheat, burning out your dryer’s mechanical components and causing it to fail.

To reduce your risks of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning from dirty dryer vents, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you have you dryer vents cleaned and inspected each year by a CSIA-certified dryer cleaning technician. A CSIA-certified dryer cleaning technician will use rotating brushes and high-powered vacuums to clean lint from your dryer vents. The technician also will inspect your dryer vents to make sure they are free from damage and in compliance with industry recommendations, such as having plastic dryer vent tubes replaced with nonflammable metal dryer vents.

If your dryer vents are overdue for a cleaning, or if you have noticed that your dryer is taking longer to dry a load of laundry or overheating, call Total Chimney Care to schedule a dryer vent cleaning appointment today!

By Steve Sobczak on August 31st, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Warning signs your dryer vents need to be cleaned

When was the last time you had your clothing dryer vents cleaned and inspected? If you can’t remember, or if the answer is never, you need to evaluate your dryer’s operation to determine if your vents are clogged with lint and in need of cleaning.

Signs of Dryer Vent Buildup - New Haven-Fairfield CT - Total Chimney CareWhen dryer vents become clogged with arrant lint, the vents can overheat and the lint can ignite and cause a major home fire. In fact, dryer vents cause an estimated 15,000 home fires each year, the majority of which could have been prevented with regular dryer vent cleaning. Clothing dryer vents should be cleaned at least once per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, to lower your home’s risk of a dryer-sparked fire. Vents might need to be cleaned even more frequently if you do a lot of laundry.

If you are skeptical about the need to clean your dryer vents, your dryer could be sending you signs that its vents are clogged and close to overheating.

Those signs include:

  • Longer than normal dryer times. If your dryer can’t vent or combust properly do to clogged vents, the time it take you to dry your clothing or linens will increase. An average load of clothing should not take more than 30 to 40 minutes to dry.
  • Clothes that are hot to the touch. If heat can’t escape the dryer, that heat will stay within the dryer’s drum. If your clothes seem unusually hot when you take them out of the dryer, that is a sign that your vent is at least partially blocked.
  • An overheated laundry room. Similarly, if heat can’t escape the dryer, it can lead to overheating in your laundry room. If your laundry room seems overly warm when your dryer is running, it is time to have your dryer vents cleaned.
  • A musty or burning smell, or a strong smell of dryer sheets. Clogged dryer vents can cause a few odd smells in your laundry or in your laundry room. If your clothing or your laundry room inexplicably has a musty smell or a burning smell, or smells strongly of dryer sheets, your dryer vents should be checked.
  • A buildup of lint in the lint trap or around the external dryer vent. If lint can’t exit your dryer into the vents, it doesn’t have anywhere to go, so it will back up into your dryer and into your dryer’s lint trap. Similarly, dryer lint may blow out of the dryer exhaust outside your home.
  • A dryer vent flap that doesn’t open or close when the dryer is running. When your dryer is “breathing” properly, the flap on the exterior of your home should open and close as the dryer exhausts its heat. If the flap is immobile, it is a sign that the vent is blocked.

If your dryer is showing any of the signs of clogged dryer vents, call Total Chimney Care today! We will clean and inspect your dryer vents to keep your dryer operating safely and reduce your risk of a dangerous dryer fire.

By Steve Sobczak on July 13th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Keep Your Dryer Vents Safe

There’s a danger lurking in your home that you probably don’t know about: Your clothing dryer and dryer vents. Each year, clothing dryers cause 2,900 home fires, leading to $35 million in property damage, 100 injuries and five deaths. In 34 percent of those fires, clogged dryer vents were to blame.

Fire Safe Dryer Vents - New Haven - Fairfield CT- Total chimney Care LLC-w800-h800
Why dryer vent cleaning matters

Each time you dry a load of clothing or linens, lint is pulled from the material and through your dryer’s ventilation system. Some of it is caught by the lint trap you’re likely familiar with cleaning between loads. More lint escapes bypass the lint trap and begin to coat the inside of your dryer vents. Vents also can be blocked by small animals that make their way in from the outside or by plants that grow up into the vent’s outlet. If the vents become blocked, the highly flammable lint inside can overheat and ignite, causing a fire. The lint also can prevent carbon dioxide from escaping your dryer, forcing it back into your home and putting your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. It also prevents your dryer from operating efficiently and can reduce its lifespan. Dryer vent cleaning sweeps away lint and makes sure there are no other blockages or weaknesses in the dryer vent system.

When to have your dryer vent cleaned

Because of the risk blocked dryer vents pose to your home, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having dryer vents cleaned once per year. If you do a high volume of laundry, you should consider having your vents cleaned even more often.

Additionally, there are other signs that your dryer vents might be overdue for a cleaning. When dryer vents are clogged or partially blocked off, drying times will increase. If you notice your loads of laundry taking longer to dry, that’s a major sign your dryer vents need to be cleaned. Other signs include: laundry that seems very hot to the touch, a significant increase in the temperature of the laundry room when the dryer is running, a burning smell when the dryer is running, or the smell of dryer sheets that seems stronger than normal. If your dryer vents are blocked, you also might notice an increase in the buildup of lint in the dryer, or dryer lint debris around the dryer vent. On the outside of the house, the dryer vent flap should flutter open and closed when the dryer is running.

If you haven’t had your dryer vents cleaned within the last year, or if you notice any of the warning signs that your dryer vents might be clogged, call Total Chimney Care to schedule a dryer vent cleaning appointment today! We’ll clear your dryer vents to reduce the risk of a dryer fire and increase the efficiency of your dryer.

By Steve Sobczak on March 24th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment