If there’s one appliance most homeowners rely on to get chores done, it’s the clothes dryer. Don’t let your dryer become a fire hazard because it’s not cleaned regularly and properly.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Data Center, clothes dryers are responsible for approximately 15,600 structure fires around the country each year. Eighty percent of these fires start with clogged dryer vents, and result in 15 deaths and 400 injuries on average annually. Thousands of other home occupants are treated for symptoms of poisonous gas fumes that back up into the home due to blocked dryer vents.
Yes, cleaning the lint trap in your dryer is a good practice, but it’s not enough to prevent a fire from sparking in your dryer vent. To keep your dryer efficient and safe, replace any vinyl or plastic flexible transition ducts between the dryer and the main vent (often located inside a wall) with a a semi-rigid metal transition duct, since plastic and vinyl transition ducts can catch fire, unlike the semi-rigid metal ducts.
Make sure the opening of the dryer vent pipe outside is free of any birds’ nests, bushes or other debris that accumulates over time.
When your dryer vent system can’t exhaust properly, it overheats and can threaten your home, health and safety. You can clean your dryer vent system yourself, but if you don’t know how or want expert advice, a professional cleaning service like Healthy Living Carpet & Tile Cleaning can clean and inspect your system to make sure it’s safe, as well as answer your questions.
While the buildup in a clothing dryer presents many dangers to homes and its occupants, there are ways to prevent many of these hazards from occurring.
Homeowners may notice certain signs that signal the dryer vent is blocked by debris and needs to be cleaned. They include:
Dryer vents can be professionally cleaned by Foker's carpet and vent cleaning. We have the tools and training needed and reach deep into the dryer vent and clean all debris build-up that occurs along the lining of the ventilation pipes.
During the process of cleaning the dryer vent, we will insert a long vacuum tube and snake brush into the ventilation pipe. The vacuum will be used to eradicate any loose debris within the venting pipe causing blockage.
More solid masses of debris that may be attached to the walls of the ventilation pipe will be scrapped away with the snake brush and then vacuumed out. We will take special care in the elbows and bends throughout the dryer venting pipe as these are problematic areas that can quickly build up with lint and other debris. Ventilation pipes typically range from five feet to 40 feet in length, depending on where the appliance is located and an outside venting site is installed.
Dryer vents can become clogged and lead to devastating fires. Prevent this by opting for regular dryer vent cleaning.
Do I really need to have my dryer vent cleaned?
Yes, dryer vent fires are one of the leading causes of home fires in the United States. An average of 15,000 dryer fires are reported annually causing more than $110 million in damages. ALL dryer vents need to be cleaned at some time.
What is a dryer vent?
We have found that there is a common misconception of what exactly constitutes a dryer vent. Some people believe that the lint trap that needs to be cleaned out after each use of the dryer is the vent. The dryer vent is the tube behind the dryer that connects your dryer to the wall and runs however long until it eventually exits the home by a vent hood located on the side wall or the roof.
Why are my clothes taking so long to dry? Do I need a new dryer?
Sometimes the problem is your dryer. However, if your dryer is still heating up but the clothes are not getting dry in a reasonable amount of time (about 45 minutes for a standard load) then it is a good sign that you are overdue for a dryer vent cleaning.
A clogged dryer vent does not allow the hot air and moisture to escape from the dryer, preventing the clothes from drying. We receive many referrals from dryer repairmen who have responded to calls about broken dryers only to find there is a problem with the dryer vent. Even worse is when we receive a call from someone who went out and purchased a new dryer thinking their old dryer was worn out, only to find that the new dryer doesn’t work either due to a faulty or clogged dryer vent.
How often should I have my dryer vent cleaned?
Major appliance manufacturers recommend having a professional inspect and clean your dryer vent at least once every year. However, cleaning intervals vary depending on many factors. An honest recommendation is every 1-3 years depending on:
I have the plastic tubing as a dryer vent. Is that okay?
No, a dryer vent is required to be composed of solid metal ducting, can contain no screws to hold the tubing together, and should have the proper metal tape securing the joints together.
Will I save money on my electric or gas bill by having my dryer vent cleaned on a regular basis?
Yes. Your dryer is one of the most expensive appliances to operate. Having your vent cleaned on an annual basis can save you an average of $20 per month on your utility bill.