Is there a bird nest in your dryer vent? 

How can you prevent a bird from nesting in your dryer vent?

Q: I live in an adult condominium community. There are sparrows that have built a bird nest in the dryer vents. The vents have four louvers. It is very easy for the birds to lift them, go in and build a nest. These birds are like pests that come in from the outside of the building.

Apparently, the homeowner is responsible for once-a-year cleaning of the interior dryer vents. Is the homeowners association responsible for removing and cleaning these vents from the outside? We think this is a fire hazard as the dryer lint can build up in the vent and can ignite.

What are your thoughts on this and who should we contact?

Birds commonly nest in dryer vents

A: We feel your pain. Several years ago some birds decided to make a nest in our dryer vent. We couldn’t understand why our dryer was no longer working properly and not drying the clothes. It seems that modern dryers must have some system in place to sense whether the dryer is exhausting enough air or whether the dryer venting is getting too hot.

In either case, the bird’s nest was causing the heater mechanism in the dryer to turn off. The dryer would still spin but the clothes wouldn’t dry.

Try this simple fix to prevent birds from nesting in your dryer vent

For us, it was a simple fix. We removed the nest, cleaned out the dryer vent and then placed a new exterior dryer vent cover with both louvered covers and a dryer pest guard. The guard is a plastic grate that goes over the louvered vent to prevent critters and even birds from getting in. Since we took that step, we have not had any issues with birds trying to nest in our dryer vent (as cute as that sounds).

We don’t know if this system will work for you, but it’s worth talking to your condominium management company about it. The fix is pretty simple and quite inexpensive.

Talk with your HOA about adding a pest guard to your dryer vent

We think that the management of your community would be receptive to trying to fix the issue. While the owners would still be responsible for cleaning out their dryer vents, trying something else to keep birds from nesting in your dryer vent is worthwhile. At the very least, if the community managers hesitate, ask if they’d allow you to install the cover the next time you clean the dryer vent.

Given the low cost involved, this low-tech solution would help avoid a costly dryer repair, or worse, a fire in your dryer vent. Having said that, we should qualify our answer: If each homeowner is responsible for the exterior maintenance of the home and that includes the dryer vents, secure the association’s approval first and fix the problem as soon as they give you their approval.

Thanks for the question and we hope it works for you as it has for us.

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