If you have ever dealt with a bird in the dryer vent, their nest can quickly bring your dryer to a grinding halt.
Birds love dryer vents because they are warm and dark places that are safe from predators.
I invite you to also read my guide on how to clean dryer vents with a leaf blower (and brush tool).
In this guide, I will go over…
- The best way to prevent birds nests
- Why you should clean the vent before doing anything
- And thoughts on installing a new exterior vent hood
Table of contents
Install Dryer Vent Bird Guard
The best way to keep birds out of a dryer vent (and from blocking the vent) is to install a bird guard.
A bird guard is a plastic cage that is installed over your existing vent hood. The holes are too small for birds to fit through, but the holes are large enough to allow strong air flow and it minimizes lint buildup.
Bird guards are the perfect solution to keep out birds while avoiding highly flammable lint getting stuck to it.
A common problem occurs when homeowners install metal screens over the exterior vent hood. These metal screens have too small holes and they quickly get lint buildup on them — blocking air flow.
Regardless, even with proper bird cages, they will need to be periodically cleaned (or inspected) at least annually.
Read Also: Why Is My Dryer Not Working?
Install New Vent Hood With Flapper
The second solution to keeping birds out of your dryer vent is to just install a new exterior vent hood.
Since pretty much all exterior dryer vent hoods already have built-in flappers — these should keep out birds as well.
The only downside is that sometimes birds can use their beaks to actually lift up the flapper and get inside the dryer vent. And even the spring loaded flapper type will eventually wear down and open a little. Just that small opening can be used by birds to lift up the flapper and get inside.
Also, if you install a new exterior vent hood, it can be much more work than just installing a bird guard.
Read Also: Why Is There Water In My Dryer Vent?
Remove Birds Nest
It’s important to remove any existing birds nest prior to installing the bird guard over the hood.
If you aren’t sure whether there is already a birds nest in the vent — the easiest way to tell is to turn on the dryer and to feel for air flow. If there is weak or no air flow out of the exterior vent hood, then you probably have a birds nest (or lint clog).
You can also try shining a flashlight into the exterior vent to look for a nest.
Birds in dryer vents usually nest near the exterior wall and rarely nest deep inside the dryer vent.
If there is little or no air flow, and you think there is a nest — you should clean the dryer vent and restore normal air flow.
Read Also: Why Does My Dryer Smell Like Burning?
Clean Dryer Vent
For most homeowners, hiring a professional dryer vent cleaning company to clean the dryer vent is recommended.
If you want to give it a try yourself, I invite you to read my detailed guide on how to clean the dryer vent yourself using a dryer vent cleaning tool.
Verify Air Flow
After you clean the dryer vent, always verify that there is good air flow coming out of the exterior vent hood.
If there is little or no air flow even after cleaning the dryer vent — you may have a disconnected duct inside the wall. Frequently dryer duct runs have numerous bends and elbows which can sometimes get disconnected.
Also, even after cleaning, the duct may be blocked with a very stubborn clog.
Hiring a qualified contractor to diagnose and fix the problem is recommended.
Read Also: How To Hook Up A Dryer In A Tight Space?