Damaged Dryer Vents: 8 signs your dryer vent is damaged

A dryer vent is responsible to remove the excess heat generated during the drying cycle.

Over time, lint and debris can build up in the vent, causing it to become clogged.

A clogged dryer vent not only lengthens the time it takes to dry your clothes but can also be a fire hazard.

Any unusual behaviors during the drying cycle indicate that it needs attention. 

Here are the 8 signs or symptoms of damaged dryer vents.

Delayed dry cycles

There is a set time frame depending on the load for a dry cycle to complete.

If your garments are taking a prolonged duration to dry, this indicates that it needs attention.

This can be caused due to a clogged dryer vent which is preventing the hot and humid air from discharging, this further results in damp fabrics due to the delayed dry cycle time.

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Unusual Odor

A burning-like odor is quite common while running a dry cycle.

But if you notice any unusual or excessive burning odor, you should immediately stop the dry cycle for further inspection.

This is usually caused due to lint (tiny fibers from the fabrics) and fabric fluff which may have been accumulated inside the dryer vent area.

These lints are highly flammable in nature.

Due to excessive heat lint tend to catch fire, which may cause an unusual burning smell.

Note: Most cases of dryers catching fires are due to the lint accumulation in the dryer vent area, thus regular cleaning is of utmost importance.

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Dryer does not heat

A damaged heating coil can be one of the reasons, this may occur due to clogged vents interrupting the hot airflow for a longer time.

In this case, the dryer stops generating heat during the dry cycle as these heating elements are responsible to generate heat during the dry cycle.

You need to have an expert to fix such an issue.

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Reduced airflow pressure

If the hot air does not flow out of the vent, this could be a cause of a burnt motor.

If the dryer’s motor is not functional, then there won’t be any pressure for the hot air to discharge out of the dryer’s vent.

In this situation, the heat will keep generating inside the washer, you should stop the dry cycle and get this fixed by calling an expert.

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Hotter Clothes

What you expect after a dry cycle is dried clothes and mildly hot fabric.

If your clothes come out too hot, or unusually hotter, this is an indication that the dryer vent is clogged which is preventing the hot air to flow from the exit routes.

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Excess Lint accumulation

If you notice lint accumulation in the dryer vent area or at the exit cover, cleaning the dryer vent should be your priority.

It is recommended to clean the dryer vent at least once or twice a year for an average household.

In larger households or if you are doing excessive laundry, it is always a good practice to clean the dryer vents at regular intervals.

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Excessive smoke

This steam is produced with a combination of hot and damp air.

Having said that, it will be concerning if an unusual amount of steam is getting accumulated inside the washer after running the dry cycle.

Smoke or steam is usually noticed inside the washer when the dry cycle is in progress or once completed.

If you detect excess smoke coming off the washer, this is again an indication of a clogged dryer vent tube or the exit flap has been stuck or clogged. 

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Now that you have a fair idea to identify a damaged dryer vent by looking at the symptoms, let me help you with a few caring tips for your dryer vents.

Caring tips for your dryer vent

  • The first step to prevent your dryer vent is to regularly clean the dryer vent areas.
  • Do not ignore the unusual symptoms that you may notice during the dry cycle.
  • Lint which is said to be one of the most common causes of dryer fires should be cleaned out regularly. To prevent and check the causes of lint accumulation in your washer, do visit check out our blog post on Dryer and Vents.
  • Place the washer dryer closer to exit walls to avoid lengthy vent tubes. Shorter the dryer vent tubes the better.
  • Avoid folds and twists when fixing the dryer vent tube towards the exit wall. Twists and folds allow easy lint accumulation.
  • The Outer cover of the dryer’s vent is prone to external damage and it may cause a block on the outer wall exit points. Hence inspecting the outer vent areas becomes a must.
  • Avoid running the dryers for longer durations. When you run the dry cycle with a larger laundry size in multiple cycles, make sure to allow some rest after every cycle.
  • For most issues, there are DIY tips available in our Blog Section section that can be performed, if you are still unsure, always ask the expert.

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Final Thoughts

Do take good care of the laundry system, and keep inspecting at regular intervals.

Always clean the vent areas when you perform cleaning cycles for the washer.

Dryer vent damage can be dangerous and hence needs attention on unusual activities. To be on the safer side always turn off the appliances in the occurrence of such uncommon occasions.

Lastly, always seek a piece of expert advice for anything you are unsure about.

Check out our FAQ section for better laundry tips.

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