Dryer vents are intended to circulate air through the damp closes. The dryer itself only provides heat and tumble action. It is incredibly important to keep the vent clear of debris for two main reasons:
1. Its a fire hazard peeps! Seriously. I don't understand the science of it all but it is on the list of common causes for household fires.
2. Money, boo! The harder your dryer works the more energy it uses and the higher your bill is. That right there is enough of a reason for me to get in there and clean it.
So to begin your going to unplug the dryer and pull it out. Its not heavy, you don't need help. Next you'll need a flathead screwdriver to loosen the strapy deal that holds the vent to the wall. remove that and wipe out what you can reach with your cleaning rag. Here is the real issue. For those of you in newer construction (I would say 90's and newer) your dryer vent most likely goes up the wall and out through the roof. If I ever meet the idiot that came up with this design I'd like to smack him and make him get up on my roof next time - idiot! Anyway, if you clean this vent out once a year you'll save yourself having to get on the roof. The serviceman I had to have come out said he uses a leaf blower once a year. This is the best way I have found.
Now my case was a bit more severe. The previous homeowner obviously had no idea either, so 9 years of lint had built up! Lint was literally an inch thick all the way around the vent. There were clogged all the way up the wall. Brian had to get up on the roof and use a screwdriver to pry out a clog at the roof of cement hard lint that had gotten wet and compacted. I spent 3 hours with a 20' drain snake snaking out the vent.
This was only half way through the process. I pulled out twice this amount.
Now, it is important to go ahead and do this the next nice day you have before the weather gets too nasty.
I hope you all had a great Halloween. Only 8 weeks left to the year! Can you believe that???