What’s Inside Your Dryer Vent & Why You Should Clean It

dryer vent cleaning

A dryer vent connects your dryer to the outside of your home, transporting the water vapor that is removed from your clothes safely outside. While it may seem like a simple enough task, it’s extremely important to do it annually to ensure your safety. An estimated $100 million in property damage is caused by faulty clothes dryer vent installations every year.

That’s why it’s vital to invest in dryer vent cleaning services every year. Having this as part of your yearly home inspection can prevent dangerous fires, appliance and property damage, and other catastrophes.

Generally, having your dryer vent cleared consists of removing lint. However, there are many cases of other objects infiltrating your dryer vent that must also be cleared away.

What Is a Dryer Vent?

A dryer vent is a crucial component of your dryer unit. This vent prevents excess moisture, lint, and heat from accumulating in your home by removing them during a drying cycle. The dryer vent itself works like a pathway, making sure air moves well and extra dampness is eliminated.

Maintaining a clear and clean dryer vent is essential for optimal dryer performance. This will keep your clothes clean and damage-free, and protect your home and appliances from fires.

Does Every House Need a Dryer Vent?

While every home or apartment may not have a dryer vent installed, that does not mean it’s not an essential part of a safe home and operational clothes dryer.

When your dryer can’t release warm, moist air outside, it may cause dampness and mold to build up indoors. This not only affects the efficiency of your dryer but also poses health risks by creating a favorable environment for mold growth. Additionally, the trapped warm air can lead to overheating, increasing the risk of a fire hazard.

Why You Should Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned

Cleaning lint from your dryer vent, along with dust, pet dander, fibers, and other small options, can help prevent damage and risks to your health.

Along with these smaller particles, larger items can find their way into dryer vents. Let’s take a look at some of the most bizarre but plausible objects that have been found inside dryer vents in the past.

Tennis Balls

While it’s hard to be exactly sure how these tennis balls made their way into the dryer vent, there are hypotheses out there. Most likely, it was a dog who used the dryer vent to protect their toys from being lost.

It may be a funny anecdote, but the dangers of these tennis balls are real. The buildup of heat inside the vent is because of the blockage caused by the balls, which could easily start a fire. Securing your dryer vent from easy intrusion is a quick and easy way to prevent dryer fires.


Water is not as strange as a tennis ball being in your dryer vent, but it’s definitely not normal or safe. Having a dryer vent full of water can be risky for your home. When water accumulates in the vent, it can block the normal flow of air, making your dryer less efficient.

This not only extends the time it takes for your clothes to dry, but also creates a risk of mold and mildew, leading to unpleasant odors and unwearable clothes.

Animals & Animal Food

Dryer vents are notorious for being used as homes for animals—most notably birds, squirrels, and even snakes. They may live inside the vent, or they may use it as a place to store food.

Whatever the case, it’s important to make sure that any animals are discouraged away from your dryer vent. Having your vent regularly cleaned is the best way to monitor for any animal activity.

Can You Use a Dryer Vent to Heat Your House?

It is possible to heat your home with a dryer vent, but we do not recommend it. First, using the air and moisture from the vent will decrease the efficiency of your dryer and may even damage the unit. Additionally, there is a high risk of pollutants spreading through your home that can pose a health risk to you and your family.

When you need professional dryer vent cleaning in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, reach out to our technicians at Home Comfort Experts. We’ll carefully inspect your vent and remove any and all hazardous materials. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team of indoor air quality specialists.

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