Fires. The lint from your clothes can build up inside the dryer vent. This material is highly flammable and can cause a fire.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. When the dryer vent is clogged, dangerous CO gases aren’t able to escape. Instead, they build up inside the vent and may seep out into the laundry room and into other areas of the home.
Wear and tear on the dryer. When it takes two or three cycles to get your clothes dried, this puts a lot of strain on your dryer. It can lead to excessive wear and tear on the unit.
Skyrocketing utility bills. A dryer that is running more often than it should to dry clothes will use a lot of energy. This will be reflected on your monthly utility bills.
Facts about home clothes dryer fires
2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.
Warning signs that it’s time to clean your vent
Clothes are taking much longer than normal to dry. It will often take two or three cycles to dry them.
Clothes have a strange, burning smell to them. This could be a sign that your dryer vent isn’t properly able to ventilate the warm air out of the appliance.
The laundry room feels excessively hot when the dryer is running. Again, this could be a result of a clogged vent that isn’t letting hot air escape.