Speak to a Dryer Vent Professional in Your Area
When your dryer is running, the air is sucked into the machine, where it is heated and passed into the tumbler. Warm, damp air is forced through a lint trap and into a ventilation system, which typically forces the air outside. You should be able to locate your outside dryer vent and both feel and smell the warm, detergent-scented air as it escapes. But what if the dryer is not venting outside?
How Can I Tell If My Dryer Is Not Venting Outside?
If your outside dryer vent is at ground level, you’ll be able to tell when air is or is not blowing through it as the dryer runs. The doors will remain closed. There will be no warm air gusting through the vent. There will not be a familiar scent of clean laundry in the air.
If your vent is located on the roof or another unreachable spot, there are still a few signs that your dryer is not venting outside. If your dryer feels very hot to the touch when it is in use, or if the clothing you remove from the dryer is too hot, this is a sign that the air inside is not venting properly. Another sign that your dryer is retaining hot air is the need to run your laundry through the dryer several times before it is actually dried.
What Can Cause My Dryer to Not Vent Outside?
The most common cause of improper dryer ventilation is a blockage somewhere along the path of the ductwork leading from the dryer to the outside. Though your lint trap is designed to catch most of the fibrous debris that accumulates as your laundry dries, it will accumulate through the hose leading from your dryer to the ventilation system, as well as on the ductwork itself. Over time, this can create a massive build-up.
It is also possible for other types of debris to accumulate in your dryer vent system. That the outside vent is designed to only allow air out, it can become damaged over time. The result is that outdoor debris, such as leaves and twigs, can enter the vent. Additionally, small animals or birds may enter the vent or build nests on a rooftop vent.
Your dryer may fail to vent outside if there is damage to the ductwork. If you are still using a flexible hose for your dryer, a leak or crack may cause the hot air to vent inside your home, rather than forcing it through the vent to the outside. Ducts may also become cracked or damaged over time. If your dryer vent has been retrofitted into an older home, there may be sharp turns or curves in the ductwork leading outside. These spots may accumulate debris and build up faster, or have weak spots that crack.
What Should I Do If My Dryer Is Not Venting Outside?
Experts recommend cleaning your entire dryer vent system at least once a year, so if you’re noticing performance issues or a lack of venting outside, the first thing you’ll want to do is clean the ducts.
If you’ve recently cleaned the ducts, or notice no difference in performance after they’ve been cleaned, it is likely time to contact a professional. You may have a more serious blockage, or there may be damage to the ventilation system itself. To connect with an HVAC professional in your area, call 844-962-2681. A trained technician will be able to look at all elements of your dryer ventilation system to determine the cause of your dryer not venting outside. You’ll receive a no-obligation estimate for any repairs or treatment that may be necessary.
You may not notice your dryer not venting outside right away, but it can be a cause for concern. While the problem may be solved with a simple cleaning, it’s also important to inspect for damage or other trouble within your ventilation system.
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Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.