Home energy efficiency is important to everyone and it pays to make sure that you are not wasting power. A big energy consumer in the home is the clothes dryer, and its cost to homeowners can add up. While you can take steps to prevent excessive dryer usage (e.g. wait until you have a proper sized load before using the machine), your apparently reliable appliance can still be costing you more than necessary due to a lack of proper maintenance.
One of the best things you can do to prevent this is to have the dryer vent cleaned annually. This can be done as part of a duct cleaning or on its own. We encourage customers to clean their ducts and vents at least every five years, but do it more frequently than that if your appliance gets a lot of use. You can also opt to have it done every year, especially if your family is sensitive to indoor air quality. A properly maintained dryer vent will prevent the circulation of such pollutants as mold, animal dander, and dead skin. Members of your family with allergies or asthma will benefit greatly from this extra bit of home care.
There is also a potential safety issue here as clogged dryer vents are a fire hazard. You can help to prevent this danger by adding an annual vent cleaning to your list of home safety steps. Lint accumulates inside the dryer through regular use and acts as an insulator for the motor, causing it to overheat and burn. The city of Vancouver experienced 13 fires in 2015 caused by clogged dryer vents, which led to over $200,000 worth of damage. On a related note, do not ever operate your dryer while sleeping or leave the house while it is in operation.