A dryer vent with build-up can be less efficient and less effective, therefore not serving your family as well as it should. Not being clean of debris can also shorten its lifespan, leading to repairs or replacements that could otherwise have been avoided. Because it can be difficult to get a good look at the dryer vent itself, it can be hard to see when a cleaning is needed. However, there are some signs that will indicate that your dryer vents need to be cleaned.
If a dryer vent is clogged, it is unable to get rid of moisture effectively. The result of this is that clothes never really seem to get dry, or it takes more cycles than usual to dry them.
If clothing is left with moisture remaining for too long without being able to dry, it can start to smell musty or slightly of mildew. This is a good indication that moisture is hanging out in clogged-up vents. Lingering moisture can also cause mold growth, another place where the odor could be coming from.
The venting process of the dryer is designed to rid clothing of moisture and remove lint using heat, then siphon off this heat. If the vent is dirty and/or full, the heat may not be able to escape properly, causing it to build up in the room and making even air-conditioned spaces hot.
This is a serious sign that the dryer vent needs cleaning. If it is too dirty and clogged, a fire could result from that build-up. If you smell burning when the dryer is running, shut down the system immediately and get the appliance checked and cleaned.
The good news is that the signs are pretty clear, so you can schedule a dryer vent cleaning in plenty of time to maintain a well-running dryer.