The tumbling action of clothes in a dryer helps loosen lint fibers from fabrics, releasing them into the air. As the dryer spins clothes at high speeds and the heating elements bring the air to a fast churn, these tiny lint fibers get pick up into the dryer vent at a rapid pace. Over multiple drying cycles, the amount of lint buildup in vent ducts becomes considerable, significantly impacting efficiency, safety and dryer lifespan.
The dryer’s exhaust system
It pulls in air and fibers from the drum at a strong enough force to overcome airflow resistance in even lengthy vent runs. Longer vent lengths, tight turns in ductwork and small vent diameters increase static pressure pushing lint deeper into the system. Larger vents and straighter runs make it slightly easier for lint to exhaust outdoors, but lint still accumulates over time with consistent use.
Lint collects in clumps within vent ducts, eventually obstructing airflow by blocking passageways completely or at least making it difficult for air to move. Obstructions reduce the velocity of air passing over dryer components, preventing them from cooling properly. Overheating can damage motors, wiring and heating elements, potentially leading to costly repairs or fire if lint blocks are extensive enough.
Besides reducing airflow and overheating components, built-up lint creates other issues like increased energy usage, longer cycle times and higher utility bills. The dryer requires more time to achieve the set temperature, spinning clothes longer as less airflow suppresses the tumbling action. Larger lint masses become easier to combust, increasing risks of exhaust system fires that can spread into walls, attics and the living space.
While occasional use will see some lint buildup, dryers run on a cycle several times per week in most homes. Professional periodic dryer vent cleaning is critical to prevent these issues from arising and causing damage. For safety, efficiency and cost savings, dryer vent ducts should be fully unclogged once per year or every 150-200 cycles. An unclogged vent allows ideal airflow, protects components from excess heat, reduces energy use and eliminates risks—ultimately preserving the dryer and ensuring hygienic, cost-effective laundry facilities for years to come.