lugged dryer vents are common on almost all inspections.
The lint/dust that plugs these vents represents a significant fire hazard and should be maintained free of debris. Any homeowner/handyman can do this—-as long as they are accessible. Every persons use of dryers and the types of clothing they dry is different, so determining how often to clean them requires some cleaning “history”. Clean them as often as necessary. If they are clean and the flap works properly and isn’t stuck open they are most likely fine. The line to the vent cap should also be maintained clean—but I will save that for another post.
Some “types” of vent caps are prone to frequent clogging. They should NOT be screened. Screens and grille type covers will clog the vent cap much quicker.
Besides the obvious fire hazard—-plugged dryer vents will make your dryer run longer to dry the clothes. This is a tremendous waste of energy and creates higher energy bills.
Another problem can be location of the vent caps. Can you get to the cap easily to maintain it? Vent caps at the steep roof of a three story townhouse for example will not be accessible to the average homeowner (many inspectors won’t even go on these roofs). These inaccessible vents should either be relocated to more accessible location or some sort of maintenance plan should be set up with qualified maintenance persons to keep the caps clean.
I also am not a fan of louvered-type vent caps—the little louvers bend due to heat and then don’t open all the way which leads to clogging.
Do you know the condition of your dryer vent cap—-or even where it is?
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