Not a Luxury… a legitimate necessity
Problems are created because the lint filter on any dryer only catches part of the lint created in the drying process. (Usually about 75%) Much of the lint that gets past the filter on the dryer accumulates along the walls of the vent. This reduces the outward air flow which in turn alters the performance of your dryer. Given enough time the restriction can become a blockage.
The restricted air flow increases operating cost, causing more wear on the dryer, and increases drying time.
Most dryers that have been in use for six months to a year are effected. Our experience has shown enough lint accumulation to warrant cleaning even sooner in some cases. With heavy use it does happen quicker and with time the effect becomes more severe.
To have an efficiently running dryer the vent must be periodically cleaned.
There is a Real Fire Danger
There is a real fire danger. There are 15,000 fires a year started in dryer vents.
It makes sense to be cautious. The lint that accumulates in the dryer vent is very flammable. If you ever need “tinder” to start a fire with flint and steel you can find it in your dryer vent. Just a spark or sufficient heat of any kind can get a fire going quickly, especially with some air movement to fan it.