As a busy young family, we have a lot of laundry. The washer and dryer always seem to be running. This summer I started to notice that the laundry room started to feel a bit more humid than usual. I did not think a whole lot of the added moisture as it was a hot summer. The dryer seemed to be taking a lot longer to get things dry than I previously remember. I could not figure out why? I regularly cleaned out the lint trap and made sure not to have too much in the machine. I also noticed a light on that said ‘check airflow’. While cleaning out the trap and emptying the dryer, I started to smell a hint of burnt socks smell. Yikes! This was a good indicator I had a bigger issue then simply cleaning out the lint trap. So, I took a deep dive into cleaning the dryer out really well. I took off the front of the dryer, vacuumed deep into the lint trap. I pulled out the machine and cleaned out the vent and vent hose. I purchased a hose cleaning kit from the local retail store. Wow – I could not believe what I was cleaning out. After what seemed like hours, I was finally done. Put everything back and turned on the machine. At first things seemed to work well but after the first load, the red light was back on telling me to check airflow. The only thing I could think of was to get outside and check the vent and see if there was a blockage at the end. I could not reach the entire length form the inside so this might have made sense. My vent is quite high up on my house so I had to climb up a ladder to get a better view. (Disclaimer – don’t do anything you are not comfortable with. Always seek a professional. In my case the kids know the routine. Call 911 and get mom.) I could not believe what I found! A bird had made a nest inside the vent. I am not sure how as the vent had a cover flap? None the less – I found my issue. The bird had to have been small as the vent is quite small, but this nest seemed to be the largest one ever. I could not believe how much came out of there. Sticks, mesh, plastic, twigs, feathers, anything fluffy, and even a few eggs that unfortunately did not hatch. Eventually I felt I removed as much as I could and descended to try the dryer once again. I turned it on and with a little puff of feathers and twigs, the dryer was a lot happier. I was too; this situation had the potential for a house fire. Please use this story as a reference to see if your dryer vent needs a good cleaning. Don’t wait too long as the result could be a lot more damaging than it needs to be.
Photo by Mauriciooliveira109
The following is a true story and happened to yours truly this summer.