Dryer vent cleaning is a necessary preventative maintenance procedure that should be done every one to three years depending on the size of family and amount of laundry. Without regular cleanings, dryer vent ducting will build up with lint, driven sheets, garments and even birds or animals.
When the vent line air flow is reduced or blocked, that's when the problems will be more obvious. Clothes will start taking noticeably longer to dry, potentially even twice as long. Most new dryers have air flow sensors to detect when there is not adequate airflow moving from the unit. If not equipped with the sensor it is likely the heating element in the machine will over heat and need replaced. Over heating dryers mixed with flammable lint are at risk of catching on fire and spreading the flames rapidly.
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