Skip to main content
Maytag Appliances

How to Determine if your Dryer Vent is Restricted

Air Flow (vent to the outside) is Important

Air flow is crucial to dry clothing. As a wet load of laundry is tumbled in a dryer, the wet items and hot air produce moisture. In order for the clothes to dry, this moisture has to exit the dryer to complete the drying process. If the moisture is not vented and allowed to leave the dryer in some way, dry times could be extended dramatically.  Venting must run from the dryer to the outside of the home, free of obstructions and any blockages. 

Dryer Vent Good.JPG

CLICK HERE to see more information about how a dryer dries clothing

Symptoms of a Blocked Vent

There are many things that may indicate your house venting could be restricted. Following are the most common signs:

  1. Long Dry Times - The most common indicator of house venting being restricted is longer than normal dry times. Because the hot, wet air cannot leave the dryer as easily, the clothing can still be damp at the end of a cycle. It could take multiple cycles to get a load of clothing dry when the vent is blocked or restricted. 
  2. Dryer is very warm to the touch - Because the heat stays inside the dryer, the outside of the dryer could feel very warm to the touch, especially on the sides and near the bottom. 
  3. Steam/Moisture in the dryer - Moisture and heat together will produce steam, similar to a sauna. If the vent is restricted, the steam will remain inside the dryer. You may notice steam on the door (if you have a glass door), or when opening the door. If your dryer has an electronic display, you may also see the display steaming over. 
  4. Water dripping on the floor - Because the moisture inside the dryer is not being released to the outside, it may accumulate inside the dryer, or inside the venting material. This may cause water puddles on the floor, usually behind the dryer. You may think the dryer (or even the washer) is leaking water on the floor. 
  5. Lack of lint on the Lint Screen - Because there is little air movement, the lint from the clothing does not get removed and on to the inside lint trap (screen). You may see very little lint accumulating, and only at the bottom of the lint screen. You may also see lint building up around the dryer door, or on the clothing.
  6. No air movement - If your lint screen is located on the top of your dryer, this is easy to check: pull out the lint screen, and set the controls to "Air Dry" or "Air Fluff." Start the dryer, and place your hand inside the lint trap area. If you feel air movement, your house venting is probably clear. However, if you feel little to no air movement, your house venting is probably restricted. 

If you are still unsure if your vent is clear, a dryer vent test kit, part #8522199, is available for dryers with top mounted lint screens. This vent test kit will help you to determine if the venting is restricted and needs to be cleaned. To order, contact Customer Service. 

CLICK HERE for information on using the vent test kit