When should I Clean my Dryer Vent?

Published 10/9/2023

Mr. Duct Cleaning the Dryer Vent

Dryer vents are an important aspect of annual cleaning that is often overlooked. This is because it may not seem important, or is easily an item that is forgotten. There are several reasons why this should not be forgotten about and must be checked annually.

Mr. Duct has been Chicagoland's premier HVAC service since 2002, and specializes in ensuring your dryer vents are cleaned and working efficiently.

Fire Hazard

Lint that blocks up dryer vents can block off the airflow. This causes heat to build up and, in some cases, can cause a fire in some dryers. A cleaned dryer vent reduces the risk of a fire starting.


Cleaned dryer vents also provide for a dryer that is running efficiently. This will save you energy and you'll notice when it's not cleaned out, the dryer might not run as optimally, leaving laundry not feeling quite dry enough.

When to Clean

Now that we've covered the reasons of 'why', let's talk about 'when' you should clean out the dryer vents. For your particular situation, you may actually need to have it cleaned more than annually, but once a year is typically good practice. This annual cleaning removes lint buildup, debris and dust that accumulate throughout the year.

If you've just installed a new unit, then you'll need to have it inspected or have the vent cleaned to make sure its clear and in good working condition. It's preferred by most homeowners to have a professional inspect the dryer vents, especially if you've had issues with it before.

You may need to have more cleanings and inspections depending on various factors, including:

  • Pets - Fur from pets can contribute to buildup in vents. If you have shedding pets, you may need more dryer vent cleanings.
  • Heavy Usage – If you use the dryer more frequently or have a large household, it may be more beneficial to have a cleaning schedule of 2 times a year, or every 6 months.
  • Visible accumulation of Lint – When you check the outside of the vent opening, if you notice lint or debris accumulating, it may be a sign that the vent needs cleaning. If you see an excess of this accumulation, don't wait for the next annual checkup.

Good Maintenance Habits

Preventative maintenance measures won't cost you extra, and they won't take too much time. If you follow these tips, you'll be able to avoid major issues and keep your vent cleaner.

  • Remove lint from the dryer vent lint trap after every load.
  • Check dryer vent – replace a foil or plastic vent pipe with a safer metal line as fire prevention.
  • Make sure you vent line is not damaged, crinkled or smashed because this interferes with airflow. Check that the back of the dryer unit itself is not pushing up against the vent and that it is not bending.

Lint buildup can block airflow and because lint is combustible, fires can spread quickly. Safety is the most important reason to schedule a yearly cleaning. Utilize an annual cleaning schedule with Mr. Duct to keep your dryer running at its peak, and to prevent any fire hazards.

While you can commit to these minor maintenance tips, if you know you have bigger issues or just want to trust the experts, Mr. Duct has proudly served Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

To schedule a dryer vent cleaning, simply fill out Mr. Duct's service request form.

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