Everyone involved with fire prevention recommends at least an annual cleaning and inspection of home dryer vents. Spring is a really sensible time to schedule it because of all the other cleaning that is going on. Also, spring cleaning is typically sending lots of bedding into dryers, and most dryers are handling unusually heavy loads at this time of year.
Lint and Critters
Dryer vents are, of course, a leading cause of house fires because the lint they trap is highly flammable. It is easy to forget about the lint that goes out the back when we are so good about removing it from built-in screens. It slips through, however, and increasingly piles up in corners and along the edges of dryer vents.
Furthermore, even with those handy caps on their exterior openings, animals can be both very clever and just ‘lucky’. What seems like good luck for them, though, can pretty quickly turn bad for both of you. Spring is a likely time for them to be attracted to the warmth and darkness of your dryer vent.
Coats and Blankets, Brushes and Vacuums
Not only are more squirrels and baby raccoons running around in spring but heat is no longer drawing them first to the chimney. Even pets are causing more trouble, shedding winter coats and leaving them in vents all around the house as well as in dryers. The spring cleaning that is happening can actually be sweeping more of their fur into the home’s venting.
As long as you are vacuuming the whole house, do not forget to pull the dryer away from the wall and get behind it. Do not forget either that your vacuum is no match for the one used by a dryer venting professional. Truer for longer and jointed vents but true for all, standard vacuum cleaners just do not have what it takes to properly clean a dryer vent.