Austin Home Inspection Picture of the Day - The Dryer Exhaust Vent

Home Inspector with Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas

Austin Home Inspection Picture of the Day - The Dryer Exhaust Vent

When I do a Home Inspection there are a few things that almost always show up on a Home Inspection Clogged Dryer VentReport.  On thing that I see all the time is clogged and dirty Dryer Exhaust Vents.  Clogged and dirty exhaust vents can greatly reduce the efficiency of the dryer and can even become a fire hazard.  That's right folks, I'm sure you've heard of cases of dryers catching on fire resulting in loss of the dryer, parts of the home or in some cases entire homes.....from a dirty dryer vent. 

In the picture to the right the dryer exhaust vent is almost completely constricted.  Dryer manufacturers recommend that you clean the lint trap after each use of the dryer.  A clean lint filter allows air to properly flow from the dryer to the exterior of your home.  It also helps the dryer to operate at maximum efficiency.  Clogged dryer vent piping is just as inefficient as a dirty lint trap.  Cleaning a exhaust vent is not as convenient or easy but should make the "to do" list at least twice a year. 

Dryer Vent in Open PositionAnother problem I see all the time when doing Home Inspections in Austin are Dryer Vents that stick in the open position.  Again, they normally stick open when they're clogged with warm, moist and sticky lint fresh from the days wash.  But, an opening the size of a dryer vent is extremely attractive to birds looking for a place to nest, bats, rodents, bees and a multitude of other insects and pests. 

Modern Code allows for a dryer exhaust vent to be a maximum of 25 feet long.  But, if the vent pipe cannot be run straight it is recommended that the total length be reduced 2.5 feet for each 45 degree turn and 5 feet for each 90 degree bend. 

Dryer exhaust should never be directed into the attic or under the home.  It is never a good idea to introduce a source of moisture into these places. 

Thanks for checking in and have a great day,

Andy Chaudoir - Professional Inspection Services

"Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas"

512-632-3232 -

Comments (7)

Stefan West
West Realty - Murrieta, CA
Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee CA Real Estate

NICE!  But I should't throw stones because I haven't looked at mine :)!

Sep 13, 2010 04:11 PM
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Wow, that is pretty clogged up!! I probably ought to change my A/C that I think about it!

Sep 13, 2010 04:18 PM
Paige Walker
Paige Walker - Pineville, LA
Real Estate Guru - Alexandria Pineville LA

Great post! Looking at that first's amazing they haven't had a fire! Good thing they had an inspection done.

Sep 13, 2010 04:18 PM
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Andy ~ yuck!!  It is incredible that a fire hasn't started already.

Sep 13, 2010 04:42 PM
Marc Swartz
Mortgage Finders Canada Inc., Mortgage Brokerage, Lic# 11118 - Toronto, ON
Principal Broker / Mortgage Broker, AMP

Andy - In some cases, the dryers stop working if the vent is sufficiently clogged up.

Sep 13, 2010 04:49 PM
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Andy, we often have a problem with birds nesting in dryer vents during the spring. Good information for the buyers...

Sep 13, 2010 10:34 PM
Mark Hitz
Keller Williams - The Colony, TX

Andy - Good informative post.  The pictures tell the story well.  Dryer vent fires happen and unfortunately few people have a heat / fire detector in the laundry room.

Sep 15, 2010 03:17 AM