Clothes Dryer: Check if Outside Dryer Vent Flap is Clogged and Stuck Open.


All Clothes Dryers use electricity to rotate the drum that the clothes ride in and for operating the controls that allow you to set cycle times, the amount of drying to be done, etc. But an ‘electric’ Clothes Dryer is a model that uses electricity as the source of heat for drying the clothes as they are tumbling in the rotating drum.

If your Clothes Dryer has natural gas or propane piping connected to it, then it is a ‘gas’ Clothes Dryer, and you should put a checkmark for ‘Clothes Dryer (gas)’ as one of your home features in your Home Wizard app. A gas Clothes Dryer burns natural gas or propane in a heating element, which produces the heat that dries the clothes as they are tumbling in the rotating drum.

All Clothes Dryers will have vent piping to the outside of your house, where hot air and lint from the drying process will leave the unit.

Some models of Clothes Dryers are stand-alone units, and some models are integrated with a Washing Machine. If your model has a Washing Machine unit with it, then you should put checkmarks for BOTH Clothes Dryer (electric) and Washing Machine as your home features in your Home Wizard app.

The heating element and tumbling action of a clothes dryer create lint, which can build-up around your dryer and cause problems.

Routine Care

Check if outside dryer vent flap is clogged and stuck open.

Your clothes dryer tumbles your clothes in the presence of hot air. This process causes fine pieces of fabric (lint) to be produced, which travels through an exhaust vent pipe to exit your home. At the end of the vent pipe is a door flap, that automatically opens when the air is coming out of your dryer, and then should close tightly when the dryer is off.

As the lint starts to build up, it can prevent the door flap from closing properly, which allows cold or hot air into your home, as well as pests.

Timing: September (yearly)

How To

This task involves finding where your dryer’s vent piping exists on the outside of your home and then checking that the door flap on it closes tightly, and is not kept open by lint build-up.

If it does not close tightly, then either scrape the lint away, or if the door has gotten damaged, then it will need to be replaced.


The benefits are moderate, as a stuck dryer vent flap can let in cold air all winter, and let in hot air all summer. And this will increase the energy costs for your home.


The cost of doing this task is very low. It is estimated that it should only take about 30 minutes and is relatively easy to do. No specialized tools are required.


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