Neglected dryer vents cause fires.
It’s a little known that fire departments have responded to almost 15,000 home structure fires involving clothes dryers between 2010 and 2014. A clogged dryer vent can present many risks, including harboring harmful microorganisms and even unwelcome pest invasions.
Keep your home and family safe and get the most out of your clothes dryer. It’s essential to practice proper dryer vent maintenance.
Dryer filters are designed to collect lint, but how much lint does your filter capture?
Unfortunately: not all of it.
Up to 50 percent of lint can make it past that perforated barrier.
Because the filter is porous, minuscule particles can easily pass through and accumulate over time. If too much lint builds up, hot air from your dryer can quickly ignite the dry fabric particles.
To address the issue before it becomes a problem, have your dryer vents professionally cleaned.
It can be hard to tell your dryer vent’s cleanliness in a space that is difficult to access and doesn’t get a day-to-day viewing.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends cleaning once per year minimum.
However, if you have a large family and frequently use your dryer, you may need to be cleaned more often. Typically, if your vent needs attention, you’ll notice the following:
● The entire laundry room becomes excessively hot
● Abnormal amounts of lint in the vent filter.
● The dryer vent flap does not open or close entirely.
● Longer drying times
● Musty or burning smells
Dryer fires are quite common. Likely because it’s easy to overlook routine dryer vent cleaning.
Here are our recommendations for keeping your dryer vent maintained.
Identifying the Problem?
Dryer vents and lint: A lint-producing machine designed to accommodate a small amount of lint often goes above and beyond. That’s because most homeowners let their dryer vent ducts accumulate far more than a small amount.
Neglecting routine dryer vent cleaning can contribute to the following:
● Lint-related household fire
● Increased carbon monoxide emissions inside the home
● Reduced efficiency, higher household energy costs
Experts recommend dryer vent cleaning at regular intervals to avoid the negative consequences of excessive dryer lint accumulation.
The DIY Method:
#1: To clean your dryer vent, start by locating the vent tube at the machine’s back. Next, find the exhaust vent opening where it exits your home. Always disconnect from the power source before you begin cleaning.
#2: Pull the dryer away from the wall approximately one to two feet. Disconnect the line from the dryer’s back.
#3: Before you begin cleaning, put on a pair of safety gloves — there are sharp metal edges around the vent opening.
#4: To start the cleaning process, use your gloved hands to remove lint from the vent hole at the dryer’s back. Don’t try to reach into the compartment; remove whatever lint is in the immediate opening.
#5: Grab a household vacuum or shop vac to clean in and around the vent hole at the dryer’s back. The exhaust vent is of utmost concern. Remove the exterior vent cover outdoors, and vacuum as far into the exhaust vent as you can.
#6: Brush Out the Vent. It can be challenging to reach far enough into the duct to clean it thoroughly. Professionals will use a specialized vent cleaning brush to go deep into the vent and remove anything your vacuum couldn’t get.
However, this process can be a challenge because many homeowners are unaware of exactly how long their dryer vents are and whether they’ve managed to reach every duct segment. That’s where professional cleaning comes in.
Here are the three main reasons you should clean your dryer vents:
Carbon Monoxide Emissions
If your dryer vent becomes clogged with lint, carbon monoxide can travel inside your home. While alarming, routine dryer vent cleaning is indeed essential for you and your family’s safety.
Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector in your laundry room to alert you if gas levels rise above normality.
Improves Dryer Efficiency
The appliance must work harder than necessary to produce adequate warm air to dry your linens if your vent is clogged.
Consider having professional dryer vent cleaning at 6-month intervals to restore appliance efficiency and lower your energy costs. When the vent is free from debris, air can flow freely through the system, which allows the appliance to work at maximal capacity while utilizing far less energy.
Lowers the Risk of Fire
According to FEMA, each year, dryer fires are responsible for approximately $35 million in property damages and over 100 injuries. So, unless you’d like to join that statistic, keeping up with routine dryer vent cleaning is critical.
When you allow substantial lint to accumulate in your dryer vent, eventually, that lint begins making its way farther into the hose that directs air from your dryer toward the outdoors. The closer to your dryer the lint gets, the more likely it is to catch fire from the significant heat the appliance generates.
Unfortunately, when you allow the lint to build over time, clearing it from within the hose can prove highly problematic, if not impossible, without the proper tools. At that point, the most effective lint removal method is to hire a professional dryer vent cleaning technician.
Hopefully, this will help lower energy costs and provide a sense of safety when thinking of your home.