Dryer Vent Warning Signs: What to Look For

Picture of a clogged plastic screen on a dryer vent cover in Middletown, MD
Clogged Bird Guard on a Dryer Vent

Signs That Your Dryer Vent Needs Service

Your dryer is getting too hot

If a dryer vent is clogged, less air is flowing through the duct and that means less air is flowing through the heater as well. This causes the heater to get hotter and the it will be hotter in the drum as well. Sometimes the sides or top of the dryer will feel warmer also.

Your dryer is not getting hot at all

As the heater gets hotter than the normal operating temperature, safety hi-limit thermostats are supposed to kill power to the heater. They turn power on and off, like a switch, based on the temperature they sense. If it gets really hot another safety thermostat called the thermal fuse will blow. This does not reset. These must be replaced. When these fuses blow, power to the heater is cutoff. When your dryer runs but the heat won’t come on, this is typically the reason.

Picture of dryer thermal fuses
Dryer Thermal Fuses

It is extremely humid inside the dryer

It is always humid in the dryer when wet clothes are in there, but it can get really steamy when the dryer vent is clogged badly. You will notice the difference when you see and feel it. It will be steamy and you will probably see a lot of condensation on the inside of the dryer door.

It is hot and humid in your laundry room

If it’s hot and humid in the laundry room, the transition duct (from the dryer to the wall) is probably disconnected or torn. This may be due to a clogged vent that resulted in increased pressure that caused the duct to pop apart. It could mean a few different things, but the bottom line is that it’s bad for the dryer exhaust to be entering the laundry room. This could cause mold problems and even cause a fire if excessive lint is accumulating behind the dryer. 

There is water in the dryer vent

Water in the dryer vent is usually an indication of a completely clogged dryer vent, which is a very serious condition. The dryer’s job is very simply to evaporate water from wet clothes and blow it outside the home. If the duct is clogged the dryer may still be able to evaporate the water from the clothes, but it won’t blow it outside. That water is just blown into the duct, where it collects. Look for water dripping