Chances exist that lint that has in fact been restricting the exhaust vent over a prolonged time period can cause overheating which in turn can cause a fire. The establish of lint that occurs over a prolonged amount of time is not merely a fire threat, it is also a clothing dryer problem that gradually steals the energy efficiency of the clothes dryer and gradually cost you significantly more money.
"Energy is consumed by HVAC systems through a number of processes. Air is typically distributed through the ductwork via an electrically‐powered fan. Cooling coils remove heat from the air. Heating coils add heat to the air. Through normal HVAC usage, particulates in the air slowlycollects on the surfaces of various HVAC components, resulting in a gradual loss of energy efficiency. Some loss of efficiency via a single dirty component may be minor. When the loss through each component is added up, however, the impact could be considerable. Generally, the greater the buildup, the greater the energy loss. Removal of the buildup of particulate on HVAC components restores energy performance to the system." 
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