Q: How do I know when if my dryer vent needs cleaning?

A: Laundry volume can vary from family to family. The more occupants in a home, the more loads of laundry. All that laundry leads to lint, and over time this clogs the dryer vent. Also, some people use fabric softener sheets when drying, and this leaves a residue in vents that hastens buildup.

Each home has its unique circumstances, but the dryer vent slowly constricts with lint and it feels like your dryer is getting older and less capable. What’s really happening is that it is unable to vent the moist exhaust, and this slows the drying process. So, if you can’t remember when you last cleaned your vents and things seem to be drying slowly, or if you ever have to run a load twice to get it dry, it’s time to clean your vents.