Homeowners are always trying to shore up their homes to keep nuisance animals out. It’s easy to understand why. Animals in your home can introduce germs, feces and biting insects. They can also destroy your home’s furnishing, wiring and appliances. If you are looking for potential points of animal entry to your home, you might be wondering if animals can get into my clothing dryer vents.
Animals in Clothing Dryer Vents
The answer is yes, animals can get into your clothing dryer vents. Clothing dryer vents are warm and sheltered. An animal looking for a cozy place to nest or get out of the cold can be attracted to the warm air that flows from your dryer vent. Sweeps report finding all sorts of different animals in dryer vents. Mice and birds are the most common animals that make their way into dryer vents, largely because they’re small enough to fit. Other animals found in vents include chipmunks, squirrels, bats, snakes and even baby racoons and possums.
The Problem With Animals in Clothing Dryer Vents
Once inside your dryer vents, animals can cause a host of problems. They can tear apart the dryer vent itself, or they can become trapped and die. An animal that nests in the dryer vent can clog the vent and inhibit its function, causing the dryer to overheat and catch fire or causing carbon monoxide to flow backward into your home. Even if animals do make their way out of your dryer vents on their own, they can leave behind droppings and debris that can fill your dryer with a terrible smell.
How to Tell if Animals Are in Your Dryer Vent
The signs that animals are in your dryer vent can vary depending on the type of animal. You might here the flutter of bird wings and even the twittering of bird chicks. Larger animals might make louder scraping sounds as they try to navigate through the narrow vent, while mice or chipmunks will fill your vent with scuttering sounds. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know there’s an animal in the dryer vent until there’s a problem. The dryer might fail to dry clothes if an animal has blocked the vent, or the dryer might become extremely hot or even begin to emit a burning smell. Or, if an animal becomes trapped and dies, it will fill your home with a horrible smell.
What to Do if an Animal is in Your Dryer Vent
If you suspect that an animal is inhabiting your dryer vents, stop using the dryer immediately and contact a professional! Your dryer vent technician usually will be able to remove any animals from the dryer vent. They can also clean any debris from the vent or replace it if there has been damage by the animal. Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… Your clothing dryer vents should be cleaned and inspected at least once per year. These both spot signs of animal intrusion early and ensure that your dryer vent features a cover that will keep animals out.
If you suspect an animal has entered your dryer vent, or if you’re due for a dryer vent cleaning, call Environmental Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today!