Having a working dryer is important, especially when the weather gets cold, and you can’t hang your clothes out to dry anymore. Or, if you don’t have anywhere to hang your clothes outside. But a dryer can also cause a lot of damage to your house, including a fire, if it’s not cleaned properly. Below are 6 signs that your dyer’s vent needs to be professionally cleaned.

6 warning signs that your dryer vent needs to be cleaned to prevent a fire

Clothes Aren’t Drying as Quickly

Usually, how long do you have to keep clothes in the dryer so they dry? If you’re noticing that they have to be left in your dryer longer than usual, it’s possible that you need to have your vent cleaned out. If clothing’s still damp even if you’ve had them in for 45 to 60 minutes, there’s a good chance there is a lot of lint in the vent.

Clothes are Really Hot

Do your clothes feel really hot when you take them out of the dryer? A very common reason that your dryer’s overheating is that the air flow has been restricted. You want to clean out the lint trap. However, if you’re noticing that they’re still hot, it’s possibly time to have the vent cleaned professionally.

Your Laundry Room’s Warmer Than Usual

This is similar to the sign above with your clothing being hot. If you notice that the laundry room is hotter than normal when you are running your dryer, it could mean that there’s lint in your vent.

You Have Noticed a Burning Smell

What’s the normal smell in the laundry room? Dirty socks, maybe? Or laundry detergent are normal smells. However, if you smell something burning you should call a professional right away. This means that there’s something stuck in the dryer vent. So, you want to call a professional quickly. Otherwise, you might find that your house has caught on fire.

Your Lint Flap Stops Working

When you use the dryer, the lint flap should open. If not, it might mean that your air flow is restricted. This usually is because there’s lint stuck in your vent. You also want to see if there’s lint that’s coming out through the vent.

Your Dryer Isn’t Working

Dryers sometimes shut off automatically if its detecting a lot of heat. Many manufacturers will add this as a safety measure. If this is happening, you want to clean out your dryer vent and see if the problem is solved before purchasing a new dryer.

These are just sign signs that your dryer’s vent needs to be cleaned. If you don’t take care of cleaning your dryer vent, not only can it cause problems like leaving your clothes damp, but it also can cause a fire if you let it go too long. So be careful and keep an eye out for these signs.