Why is dryer vent cleaning a concern in homes built after 1980?


Homeowner & Property Manager wonder if a professional dryer vent system cleaning is needed every 2 years. Below is a list of benefits from a professional dryer vent system cleaning:

  • Lower Power Bill
  • Save time and aggravation doing laundry
  • Extend life of your dryer. Reduces need for costly repairs or a new dryer.
  • Eliminate Mold/Mildew from your home and helps reduce allergy problems.
  • ELIMINATE FIRE HARAZD! 17,000 structure fires approx occur each year in the US due to clogged or blocked dryer vent systems.
  • Clothes Don’t Dry!  Power Bill goes up. Every 50 minute cycle running the dryer costs you about $.65. Your dryer is 220v, and a heat producing appliance. Very costly appliance which is used almost every day.
dryer vent transition hose

This Transition Hose (takes heated air, lint and moisture from dryer to dryer vent.) is far too long. This hose when stretched out will be 8 or 9 feet long, it should be about 3 1/2 feet long. This long transition hose when pushed back to the wall, will have 4 or 5 kink/turns in it.


These kinks/turns drastically reduce heated air, lint, moisture flow from the dryer to dryer vent.  Clothes Don’t Dry! , Power Bill Goes up, Fire Hazard.

home dryer vent

Typical amount of lint coming out of a one story home dryer vent. This amount of lint fills your typical Publix plastic shopping bag.

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) highly recommends dryer vent systems be professionally cleaned every two years. This professional cleaning will greatly reduce this Fire Hazard in your home. It will also eliminate other problems listed above.

My mom's home is 46 years old. Homes in Florida built in that era had the washer and dryer in the garage. The dryer vent went from the dryer through the block wall of the garage to the flapper on the outside of the block wall. This distance was horizontal about 3ft. Besides my Dad cleaning out the flapper once in a while, no other maintenance was needed. Starting in the early 80's the builders started putting the washer and dryer inside the home. This was so whomever was doing the laundry would not sweat to death in the garage! Also homes had a larger square footage to allow the laundry room in the home.


Since most washer/dryers are now on an interior wall the dryer vent cannot travel horizontally to the exterior wall, it has to go vertical. The dryer vent which used to be 3 feet long horizontal (Mom's house), now goes vertically up through your interior wall, attic and out the roof through the goose neck. On a one-story home the dryer is usually 19-23 feet (longer in two story homes, condos, apartments, etc) in height as opposed to 3 feet horizontal. Your heated, moist, lint filled air now travels a much greater (vertical/horizontal) distance to exit the structure. Lint and moisture now collect in the entire dryer vent system causing hazards/problems described above. The only part on the Dryer Vent you see is the elbow coming our the wall to connect with your transition hose. If you look on your roof, you may see the goose neck.

This gooseneck on your roof has a damper (flapper) and a mesh screen in it. As lint builds up in the gooseneck area, the mesh screen and damper are covered by heavy hardened lint. The heated moist lint filled air from your dryer cannot escape.   

To review some actual fire reports on dryer vents fires Click Here!

Early Morning Fire Ruled Accident - Newport News Daily Press (12/13/2014)

NEWPORT NEWS, VA - A house fire Saturday morning has been ruled accidental by the Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue.  The fire started in the dryer receptacle igniting some of the clothes in the dryer, according to a statement from Battalion Chief Jeffrey Pereira.  The fire was contained the the utility room, which sustained moderate smoke damage.  Flames vented out the room's window damaging the soffit above it, the statement said.