A dryer that has not been through regular maintenance and cleaning will almost immediately start showing signs of complications. The first sign of trouble is when the dryer stops drying clothes properly and clothes come out always damp. This indicates that there is not enough hot air coming in from the vent, which means the dryer will no longer function in the same way and will need longer and longer cycles to finish drying your clothes.
Not only is a blocked dryer bad for your power bill and laundry cycles, but it is also extremely dangerous. The US Fire Administration estimates that 2,900 dryer fires occur in residential buildings every year – costing around $35 million in property damages. These fires are almost always caused by blocked dryer vents. Blockages in dryer vents are usually caused by the buildup of lint. Lint is an extremely flammable material that unfortunately poses a serious threat when left alone.
When it comes to the buildup of lint in your dryer vents, it is not a matter of if it will result in a house fire, but a matter of when. That’s why the USFA recommends a yearly professional cleaning of dryer vents at home, but you should be getting it cleaned more often if there are many people using the dryer regularly.