Research: Clogged Dryer Vents

Good morning everyone! Our Data Science team is doing some research on isolating clogged dryer vents through dryer usage profiles and we could use your help. We’re looking to hear from users in the community with Sense that either:

  • suspect their dryer vent is clogged
  • had a clogged dryer vent while owning a Sense monitor

How to tell if your dryer vent is clogged:
Clogged dryer vents are caused by lint clogging the system and pushing air back in your dryer, making your clothes stay hot and damp. If you notice debris on the outside vent of your home or have seen your drying time increase significantly over time, both can be a sign that your dryer vent may be clogged.

How you can help:
Have you owned your Sense monitor while experiencing a clogged dryer vent or suspect that your dryer vent is clogged? Comment on this thread along with permission for Data Science to take a look at your data. We’ll follow-up with you if we find anything out of the ordinary!

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Great idea, hope you can get sufficient data.

This application of data science to struggling vents is surely useful in many Sense-monitored situations where there is a possible fan or motor failure.

On a not unrelated note: I have a combo Washer/Dryer that I have been intending to post data on since it’s been running on an HS110 (smart plug) for long enough now that the data might mean something. This is an unvented washer/dryer so is not so relevant to your study but the following may be of interest.

The graph shows:

  • Laundry day aggregated average hourly wattage.

  • Data indicating multiple loads (3 or 4 days) or washing-only is culled. i.e. chart is showing single wash+dry cycles

  • The linear R-squared is to 3 decimal places. i.e. pretty close to zero.

Meaning (to me) that my cycle of washing+drying is quite consistent, as is the washing+drying cycle itself! That would seem to bode well for vent-blockage analysis.

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Hi @JustinAtSense - I don’t recall ever checking/cleaning my dryer vent…so likely clogged. You have permission to look at my data.

EDIT: it’s a gas dryer, not electric.

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Is this for all electric dryers or gas/electric dryers too? Or doesn’t it make a difference?

We’re looking for electric dryers right now. If you do have a gas dryer that’s had a clogged dryer vent, still let us know.

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I suspect that there will be a pattern in my data if you’d like to take a look. I fairly recently cleaned beyond just the lint trap in my (electric) dryer. There was a lot of it! I’m not certain of the exact date. I did this because we were running the dryer for multiple cycles, usually 60 minutes, and finding clothes still not dry.

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Thanks, @russ. Do you happen to remember what month you cleaned your dryer vent out?

Justin best guess was about 6wks ago. We did laundry once or twice after and seemed better. However just did last night and clothes didn’t dry. I only cleaned best I could in the dryer itself behind/below lint trap… didn’t pull it out and snake the whole vent. Maybe still clogged to an extent.

In NYC I believe the fire code stipulates that certain (all?) vent ducts, at least for gas dryers, be solid pipe vs flexible plastic/aluminum.

I wonder if your analysis would benefit from knowing the duct type, bends and approximate length? A long bendy flexible duct is much more likely to clog than a short straight smooth one.

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Thanks, @russ! Will pass this along to Data Science.

Hi @russ! Data Science took a brief snapshot of similar data here and shared an example image of what they saw.
Below is a timeline of the median duration of the dryer - see how it spikes before it’s been cleaned and drops off again to somewhat normal levels after the cleaning?

Appreciate you sharing!

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Justin,

Feel free to look at my data. I unclogged the dryer vent yesterday. It was a pretty considerable clog with a lot of narrowing of the flexible hose for almost the entire length. The hose has been replaced with a semi-rigid one and the entire length of the vent cleaned.

–Harry

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Back when I first got Sense and it detected the dryer I did clean the dryer vent (June 17th around 12:30pm EDT). The graph is from June 18,2019 trying to impress my wife :-). Feel free to use my Sense data.

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Thank you, @powens001. If your wife wasn’t impressed, I certainly am. :slight_smile:

Hi, Cleaned out my dryer and dryer vent on 02/16/2020. Hope this helps.

Hi @gwalker00. Thanks for letting us know. Do we have permission to view your monitor data?

Yes, you have permission to view our monitor data.

Interested. Permission to use my data granted. I have an electric dryer identified by Sense with a booster fan that is not. My dryer vent needs cleaning about every two weeks else significant increase in dryer run times.

Thanks…

Thanks @neatomos

I’m not sure how long this will be of use. Heat pump dryers do not need a vent & the house efficiency will benefit from 1 less open hole. So, replace your gas/elec dryer with a heat pump dryer, cap the vent. You’ll still need to clean lint from parts regularly.
If someone is ignoring lint cleaning to the point that any dryer is not operating at max efficiency, just get back on schedule.
Even better, consider a clothes line or attic if space available. No lint, no bill.