top of page

Q: Why does my dryer take more than 1 cycle to dry my clothes?

A: Your clothes dryer consists of a blower fan, drum which turns, and heating element. As the drum turns and tumbles your clothes, the fan blows air across the heating element. This forces the moisture out of the clothes but if the moisture can not escape through a clean dryer vent, the moisture lingers, causing the clothes to dry more slowly. 

Q: My dryer vents through my floor and into the crawlspace so, out of sight, out of mind? Right?

A: Wrong. If your dryer is venting under your house or into your attic, you are not only blowing flammable lint into the space, you are exhausting warm moisture air into the confined space. This can cause toxic mold which eventually can find its way back into the house through stack effect (heat and moisture rises through your floor), a build up of  dangerous lint in the vent, and massive amounts of flammable lint in the crawlspace, and it gets on everything!

Q: How often should I have my dryer vent cleaned?

A: The answer depends on family size, type and age of dryer, length of dryer vent, type of laundry, vertical (roof) or horizontal run (wall), and many other factors including how well the vent is installed. We will gauge your individual situation and advise accordingly. As a rule of thumb, having your vent cleaned annually or every two years will keep everything working properly. Commercial vents can require more frequent cleaning, depending on demand. 



Q: Why is my dryer vented out the roof? This doesn't seem to make sense?

A: Modern homes are designed with convenience in mind. Unfortunately, convenience and building science -or physics- don't always go hand-in-hand. In days gone by, laundry rooms were generally on the first floor or even in the garage, venting straight out the wall. this is why your parents went decades without cleaning out their dryer vent. Modern homes, however, often have the laundry room centrally located and often upstairs, so this requires long and/or vertical runs which can easily become clogged. Worse yet, these vents often exit out the roof making access difficult and dangerous. Added to this is that most vents have a small screen fastened permanently to the vent exit point, which clogs in short order. We usually have to access the vent from the roof to remove this small screen and get the accumulation of lint out of the pipe. 

Q: How do I know if my vent is too long?

A: Cut your dryer on and check the exhaust outlet. Do you feel air coming out and are your louvers or damper opening freely. If not, you should have the vent cleaned, at which time your technician can determine if your vent is just dirty from normal use or if it has a damaged pipe or is clogged from an excessive length vent pipe. The preferred length of vent is less than 30 feet long, but 25 feet or less is desired. This is for a straight pipe however, using rigid ductwork. If the pipes make turns like most do, you need to subtract 2.5 feet for each 45 degree turn and 5 feet for each 90 degree turn, off the total length. For example, a 15 feet long pipe with two 90 degree turns and one 45 degree turn would be pushing the maximum distance (15 feet plus 10 feet (two 90 degree turns) plus 2.5 feet (one 45 degree turn) makes the effective length 27.5 feet. This means you are reaching an excessive length which could pose a fire hazard and become easily clogged, and will costs more to operate. This vent may require more frequent cleaning. 

Q: I have a 35 feet long duct and have to clean it out constantly. What are my options?

A: You may consider a booster fan. This device in installed in-line in the vent pipe, and comes on when the dryer is turned on. We use the Tjernlund LB2 with monitoring panel, a quality booster fan so vibration and noise is typically not a problem. The fan is a high velocity blower which assists in sucking the lint out of the pipe. These devices can pay for themselves over time in energy savings and longer dryer life, which reducing wear and tear on your clothes. 

Q: My vent runs out the roof and I cannot see it to monitor the cleanliness of the vent?

A: We recommend having a Lint Alert Monitoring Device installed. The Lint Alert is plugged into the outlet behind your washer or dryer and is connected to your dryer exhaust vent. The device is a pass-through plug so you aren't loosing the one outlet you use for ironing, plugging in your washer, etc. The device also acts as a night light, emitting a nice blue glow. The device has an onboard computer which monitors back pressure and alerts you to a gradual or sudden change in back pressure though an LED display which goes from green to yellow to red, alarming softly, once red is achieved which means your vent is significantly blocked with an obstruction (lint, bird nest, mouse, crushed pipe, etc.). Our latest version of the Lint Alert also has a washer overflow/flooding sensor which goes under the washer to alert you of a possible disastrous overflow. The device can also send a text to both you and/or your technician alerting you of a potential flood, fire, or needed service. The device can save your life and is very affordable. 

Q: My vent duct was run with a long flexible pipe from my dryer to the outside or crawlspace. Should I have this vent cleaned or replaced?

A: Flexible vent pipes are not designed or allowed by code to be used as the primary duct for your dryer. In fact, it can void your warranty and/or "kill" your new machine because these vents become easily clogged, tend to sag making moisture accumulation almost certain, and in some cases are flammable. If you have a white vinyl vent installed, call us immediately, because these vents are extremely hazardous and flammable. A flexible vent is only to be used as a transition between the rigid metal duct which comes out of the wall or floor and hook to the clothes dryer and is to be only long enough to make the transition without a lot of excessive length to bunch up behind the dryer, restricting air flow. If you have one of these flexible vents as your primary vent source, call us to come and install a rigid vent as soon as feasible and start seeing your energy costs go down. 

Q: I have a white PVC vent that has been here since I bought this condo or house. Is this OK?

A: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe is primarily used for plumbing drain and supply lines and although used in the past to vent dryers, should be replaced with a metal pipe per modern safety code. If you want to know why, think about the recent fire in Atlanta which caused I-85 to collapse. This was a PVC fire. A build up of lint takes very little coercing to become a raging fire if a spark or excessive heat is introduced. Another problem with PVC is that it is usually 3 inch pipe which is 1 inch smaller in diameter than the modern code and requirement by all dryer manufacturers, which can restrict your ventilation air flow. This can also void your dryer warranty. You need to replace this antiquated piping with 4 inch rigid metal duct pipe run per code. It will reduce energy costs and greatly reduce risk of fire. 

bottom of page