6 Signs Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning & Dirty Air Ducts Symptoms

There are a lot of signs when your air ducts and dryer vents need to be cleaned. Cleaning dryer vents and air ducts could be helpful especially if you have allergies, asthma, or congestion.

You could have poor indoor air quality without even being aware of it if dust and dirt enter your air ducts and build up on the grates inside your heating system. 

If you go several years without having your vent system cleaned, then you are attracting dust mites, pollen, germs, mold, mildew, and fungus to potentially make a home in your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system

To help you understand why you should take the proper steps to keep your ducts and vents clean, below are some signs that you need to check on.

How Do You Know if Your Air Duct and Dryer Vent Needs to be Cleaned

What is Air Duct?

Air Duct Cleaning

Air ducts are essentially tubes that link the HVAC system to air vents located throughout the building. Through an intake vent, the air is pulled into the HVAC system, where it is either heated or cooled. Cleaning your air ducts is very important to improve the overall indoor environmental quality.

How To Tell If Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy and comfortable home. In fact, if you don’t clean your air ducts, you could be putting yourself and others at risk for serious health problems. Here are some signs that you may need to get your air ducts cleaned:

1. Musty Odor Due to Mold

Condensation from your HVAC system may cause mold to grow in your ductwork especially if you live in a humid climate. Mold may be visible around your vent covers, but since many parts of your heating and cooling system are inaccessible, it can be difficult to see, but it typically manifests itself through a musty odor.

2. Pest Infestation

Pests are also another reason why you need to clean your air ducts. Pests such as spiders, roaches, or rodents are very common in houses that have dirty air ducts as they use these vents as their pathway into the house. 

These pests can create airborne allergens that will affect the quality of your indoor air when they die or move out of their nests into other areas of your home or office space. 

Once inside they can cause damage to furniture and spread disease among people living in the house or building where they are present. If you suspect a possible pest infestation inside your air ducts, it is an indication that you need to start cleaning it.

3. Dusty

Dust is made up of tiny particles of dirt and other materials. Dust in HVAC system may build up on the grilles and filters of your air duct and contribute to poor indoor air quality, especially in older houses. 

If there are any leaks or cracks in the ducts, then this will allow more dirt and dust to enter them. When you breathe in air that contains these contaminants, it can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma attacks.

4. Rising Energy Costs

If you notice that your energy bills are increasing every month, then this could be an indication that something is wrong with your heating system or ventilation system. 

It’s common for ductwork to get so dirty that it prevents air from flowing and effectively through your home’s HVAC system. When this occurs, keeping a reasonable temperature requires more effort from both your furnace and air conditioner. When this occurs, keeping a reasonable temperature requires more effort from both your furnace and air conditioner. Keeping your system clean will help you save on Energy Costs.

5. Newly Renovated Homes

If you house is newly renovated, it’s likely that there are still construction debris in air ducts. This can lead to poor indoor air quality. You may have unknowingly brought in some molds, dust, and other contaminating elements into the ducts. These contaminants can be harmful to both humans and pets.

Newly renovated houses need to be cleaned as soon as possible after they have been repaired because there will be lots of dust particles floating around which can get sucked up into your system if not properly cleaned right away. 

There may be dust particles floating around in the air ducts which can cause respiratory issues when inhaled over time as they accumulate inside your lungs over time that’s why air duct cleaning after renovation is important.

6. Strange Noises

If your system is making loud noises that sound like grinding or squeaking, it may be time to get in there and clean out the ducts. These noises are usually caused by lint and dust buildup in the ductwork, which can reduce airflow and cause other problems with your system.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Air Ducts?

Best time for duct cleaning is least once every three to five years. With certain methods, that cleaning recommendation can be extended to 6 to 8 years. If you’re in a dusty area, you might want to clean them more often. Also, if you have pets or children, you should clean your air ducts more often.

How to Do Air Duct Cleaning?

Cleaning it yourself isn’t too difficult however it is not recommended to DIY Clean your air ducts. It’s recommended that you clean your air ducts by a certified professional who specializes in HVAC systems.

What is Dryer Vent?

Dryer Vents
Reference: https://www.instagram.com/p/CivMWUiue5O/

Dryer vents are long, flexible tubing that brings the heated, moist air from your dryer to the outdoors. This tube should be kept clean to ensure it can effectively do its job of removing moisture and heat from the machine. 

Dryer vents are long, flexible tubing that brings the heated, moist air from your dryer to the outdoors. Here are some signs that indicates your Dryer Vents need to be cleaned:

How To Tell If Your Dryer Vents Need Cleaning?

1. Clothes Take Longer Than Normal to Dry

If your laundry is still wet after the dryer cycle is complete, your dryer vent may need cleaning. Laundry that isn’t completely dry is one of the signs your dryer vent is clogged making it more difficult for air to circulate throughout the machine as it should.

2. Your Laundry Is Overly Hot

An excessively hot load of laundry is potentially a clogged dryer vent symptoms, just like damp clothing is. When your dryer vent is functioning properly, hot air and moisture are cycled through the dryer vent.  Heat can become trapped in a dirty or clogged dryer vent, causing the laundry to feel a tiny bit too warm to the touch.

3. Your laundry room feels hot

The laundry room should remain the same temperature as the rest of your house on laundry day, regardless of how many loads you wash. Your appliance may overheat as a result of a blocked dryer vent.

4. Your Laundry Smells Musty and Burning

If your dryer’s hot, damp air leaks into your house, it will also leave a musty smell behind, or, if the dryer’s lint started a spark, it may even smell like burning. Lint caught in your dryer vent can cause major burning odors. The increased fire risk caused by dryer vent issues is the biggest problem.

5. The Vent Hood Is Damaged

When you’re using your dryer, the vent hood flap outside should open. If it doesn’t, it could mean you have restricted airflow, and the main culprit is usually lint stuck in the vent.

It’s also important you take notice of any lint coming outside through this vent. If you notice that the hood is stuck or otherwise damaged, this could mean that your vents need to be cleaned because the hood itself has become obstructed by debris.

6. The Dryer Tells You There’s A Problem

Some dryers with more advanced features could alert you to an issue. You may notice a warning light or an error code alerting you that the system isn’t functioning properly. This could also be an indication that your vent needs to be cleaned.

It’s also possible that the dryer has a safety feature like that when it senses too much heat, the dryer will occasionally turn itself off automatically.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Dryer Vents?

You should clean your dryer vents at least once a year. Dryer vent cleaning might not seem like a big deal considering that, well, dryer vents are more than just part of your dryer — they’re also a major factor in ensuring the safety of your home and family. This will help prevent fires and keep your dryer running safely and efficiently.

How to Do Dryer Vent Cleaning?

Cleaning your dryer vents is an essential part of the laundry process. It can help prevent fires and other issues with your dryer. Having clogged vents or a broken vent can cause your dryer to work harder, thus increasing your energy costs. 

Here’s how you can clean your Dryer Vents. However, it’s still important to have your dryer vent cleaned by a professional so that you don’t risk any damage to your home or laundry room and for your safety, it’s best to go with the pros.


A lot of people don’t even think about getting their air ducts and dryer vent cleaned until there’s a problem. But you should be thinking about it before then because cleaning them on a regular basis is the best way to avoid problems. 

Now that you know if your Air Ducts and Dryer Vent Need Cleaning, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC experts. We are also available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Trying to clean a dryer vent or air duct on your own can be incredibly risky. A clogged vent could catch on fire, it could move particles into your HVAC system and spread them throughout your home, and many others. 

When you have your vents and ducts cleaned professionally by a reputable HVAC experts, you are ensuring a safer and healthier environment. Let us know if you have any questions.