How often should I clean my dryer vent?

Many factors play into the need for dryer duct cleaning.  

  • How long is your vent?  Long is not good.

  • How many turns does the vent take?  No turns is best.

  • How often do you clean the lint screen in your dryer trap?  Every time is best.

  • How strong is your dryer?  Dryers differ in the force of air-flow.

  • How often do you dry clothes?  More drying equals more lint.

  • What kind of clothes are you drying?  Towels, polyester, jeans.  Different clothes produce different lint.

  • How old is your dryer duct?  Older ducts are not as slick and cause the lint to hang.

  • What is the integrity of your duct?  Ducts are sometimes crushed, blocked by nests, screws sticking inside etc…

The bottom line is to keep an eye on your drying time.  Periodically, instead of using the automatic setting, time dry your clothes to get a feel of how your dryer is performing. If it takes longer than 40 minutes with an average load you may have a problem.

The lint trap does not catch everything.  Be aware and your clothes drying will remain safe and efficient.


How long should it take my clothes to dry?

Many factors go into clothes drying performance.

  • How large is the load?  It is difficult to dry clothes wrapped inside a lot of other clothes.

  • What kind of clothes are you drying?  Heavy cotton will take longer than polyester

  • Is your dryer performing well?  Often people call for a cleaning when the dryer actually has no heat.  The other side is people getting a new dryer when all that is needed is a dryer vent cleaning.

  • Is your washer working properly to get the most water out on spin cycle?  You should know if they feel too wet.

  • And of course, last and definitely not least is the efficiency of your dryer duct.

Some synthetic clothes may dry in 15 minutes.  Jeans and towels may take 40 minutes and if you stuff your dryer with heavy towels and jeans it may not be  an issue if it is taking 50 minutes to dry.  If it isn’t dry after one cycle be aware of how long the dryer has been running and consider cleaning the dryer duct.  

The cost of dryer vent cleaning will pay for itself with the efficient drying time that saves you money over time.  Some people get on a schedule and just have their dryer vent cleaned every six months to a year.  We have some accounts with vet clinics that have their duct cleaned every 4 – 6 weeks.

Why does a blocked dryer vent keep my clothes from drying?


Hair dryers dry your hair usually using heat and air flow.  Imagine your hair dryer without air flow.  It is the same for your clothes dryer.

  Air must flow over and around the clothes for efficient drying.  A clogged dryer duct keeps the air from flowing.

Here’s a test for determining if the dryer duct needs to be cleaned.  If you are able:

Take the transition duct off the back of the dryer and place a nylon hose over the opening.  Dry a load of clothes for 30+ minutes.  Are the clothes drying or are they still very wet?  If they are drying, then the duct needs to be cleaned.  If they are still wet, there is a problem with your dryer.