Prevent Fires with Dryer Vent Warning Signs

Published 12/15/2023

Mr. Duct Dryer Vent Lint

Homeowners often ignore warning signs from their dryer vents. As a result, house fires sparked by inadequate dryer maintenance sometimes cause damage that could easily have been prevented.

Be alert to any changes in your dryer’s function, and pay attention to signs that forewarn you of danger. If your clothes take significantly longer to dry than expected (over 35 to 45 minutes more than usual), if you notice a burning smell from your dryer, if your vent hood flap fails to open during a dryer’s operation, or if you know you are overdue for a dryer vent cleaning, don’t write off these problems; take quick action and call the professionals at Mr. Duct.

Length of Time to Dry Clothes

If you find yourself putting your clothes back into the dryer because they haven’t dried adequately, this could indicate the presence of a clog in the dryer vent. Accumulated lint in the dryer vent can trap moist air inside, slowing down the drying process.

Trapped moisture can also cause your dryer to overheat and lead to wear and tear, component malfunction, and increased energy usage. These issues will shorten the lifespan of the dryer and increase your monthly energy bill. Upon noticing these signs, call a professional for assistance.

Smell of Burning

While a burning smell from your dryer might have many causes – including overheating parts, thermostat issues, jammed clothing, faulty heating elements, or power fluctuations – this odor most often results from a clogged dryer vent. A clogged vent can represent a significant fire hazard because dryer lint is highly flammable.

If you notice a burning odor from your dryer, stop using the appliance immediately.  If the dryer feels unusually warm to the touch, or you check the dryer vent tube on the outside of the building and observe poor exhaust airflow, you should make time for an expert inspection from a Mr. Duct technician.

Vent Hood Flap Isn’t Opening

Your dryer’s lint flap should stay open to ensure proper air circulation. Lint buildup causes the lint flap to close, which reduces the air flow and efficiency of the unit. Mr. Duct can provide professional assistance and a thorough cleaning in this situation, as well as verifying your dryer has no additional issues requiring maintenance or repair.

You can, however, clean the lint flap yourself by turning off and unplugging the dryer and using a vacuum cleaner or brush to remove the debris. Cleaning can safely and effectively clear out the lint, which will allow the flap to function correctly and ensure the dryer continues operating at its best.


Between annual cleanings, minor regular maintenance can help prevent lint buildup and other problems.  Make sure to remove lint from the lint trap after every use, an easy step that will reduce or eliminate potential dryer issues.

By opting to schedule an annual dryer vent cleaning with Mr. Duct, you can save money, time, and inconvenience by heading off dryer inefficiency and malfunctions that can be caused by clogged vents, and also rule out a potential fire hazard.  Contact Mr. Duct today to plan your annual cleaning, or if you have any concerns about your dryer’s operation.

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