A few months ago (please note the word MONTHS), one of the flaps covering my dryer vent fell off. I had gone out for some reason to sweep the lint off of the outside of the vent and knocked one of the flaps off. The vent is placed really high on the wall - especially outside - so I knew I would need a ladder or something to put the flap back on. I ignored it and forgot about it...thinking it was really no big deal.
One Saturday morning a few weeks ago (note the word WEEKS here), I thought I heard something in my dryer vent...it sounded like a bird flapping around in there. I went to check it out and of course, the noise no longer could be heard. It was kind of windy that day, so I attributed the noise to the wind and went on with my life.
One day last week, I came home and heard the noise again. I said to Dylan, "What is that noise?!?!?"...to which he replied, "That stupid bird in our dryer vent." Gee thanks Dylan for letting me know you'd been hearing this bird in the dryer vent EVERY AFTERNOON! I decided I needed to take action and between Dylan & myself (Dylan on the stepstool...me holding it down because wouldn't you know the ground slopes away from my house very abruptly right where the dryer vent is way up on the wall) we got the dryer flap back on.
No more bird noises! YAY! At least I thought it was a YAY...
Last night I went to get some towels out of the dryer that I had washed & thought I dried on Saturday. They were still damp. I thought this was strange...and figured I had just forgotten to turn the dryer on. Trust me, it's happened before. I re-ran the towels...they were dry...and I put the freshly washed clothes in the dryer. Later on, the washer stopped with the next load...the dryer buzzed off and I went to make the switch...and my clothes were not dry! My first thought was that the dryer was dying...it's older and has been put through about four moves (including the move to my house). This was not making me happy.
And then, suddenly, I had a thought. Even before I confirmed that a bird was in my dryer, I had noticed that I'd been hearing things moving around in my dryer vent when it was on - like little pieces of dirt. I really thought it was just due to the absence of the dryer vent flap...knowing that a bird had been in there at least once or twice...and that wind had blown "stuff" into the dryer vent.
But I knew that if the bird had begun nesting in the vent and that if I didn't remove that, I could burn my dryer up.
So, I stopped the dryer, removed the coil from the top, where it vents to the outside...and this is what I found:
My dryer vent was STUFFED with twigs, grass and all kinds of "nesting" supplies. And when I say "stuffed", I mean "stuffed". I thought I could just pull it out with the vacuum...but it was a no go. So, I had to get a glove and PULL this stuff out. And I pulled stuff out...and I pulled stuff out...and I pulled stuff out. Only to realize that it went ALL THE WAY DOWN the dryer vent...
Which meant, I needed to pull the dyer out...
Which is no easy task as my Dad or Dylan can tell you. My laundry room (more like a closet) is just big enough to put the washer & dryer side by side. There's no room for moving them around. To move the dryer out, you have to take the doors off the closet and move the washer out...and I didn't want to unhook the washer, since I really don't know how to do that anyway.
At any rate, we finally got the washer out...Dylan got behind the dryer and pulled the vent coil off and I took it and shook the rest out outside.
This is only PART of what I pulled out of my dryer vent...
And just to get an idea of how much dryer vent coil this bird was working with...this is how my dryer is vented...
We believe the original inhabitants of this house had a stacked washer/dryer. That's the only logical reason we can come up with for having the dryer vent so far up the wall.
So, here's my advice...if one of the dryer flaps falls off, put it back sooner than later.
And I'm happy to report that my dryer is working just fine, now, thank you very much!