One of the biggest fire dangers within a home often is the most neglected: dryer vents. They cause an estimated 15,000 home fires each year, and more often than not, the cause is a lack of dryer vent cleaning. In addition to fires, clogged dryer vents can affect the performance of your appliance.
So what does happen when your dryer vent is clogged?
Everyone who has ever dried a load of laundry knows that the lint screen should be cleaned before the dryer is turned on. What most people don’t realize, however, is that the majority of the lint from your clothing doesn’t stick on the lint screen. Most of the lint bypasses the lint screen and enters the dryer vent. Over time, the lint will build up and block the air flow out of the vent making your dryer work harder creating more heat.
A professional dryer vent cleaning removes the lint build up allowing your dryer to operate more efficiently by using less energy, thereby saving you money.
How can you tell if your dryer vent need to be cleaned?
The National Fire Protection Association recommends that all dryer vents are cleaned at least once a year to cut down on the risk of a home fire. If you dry a lot of laundry, however, you may need to have your dryer vents cleaned more often. Traditionally, dryers and their vents were located near an outside wall. Now they are located in center bathrooms, kitchens and hall closets which are great for convenience, but not maintenance. If your dryer vent is overdue for a cleaning, your dryer likely will be giving you some signs, including:
- Longer than normal drying times,
- Laundry that feels unusually hot to the touch when it is fresh from the dryer,
- A musty or burning smell,
- The laundry room becoming abnormally hot while the dryer is running,
- An excess of lint in the lint screen,
- Lint and debris around the exterior of your home’s dryer vents, and
- The dryer vent flap not opening and closing when the dryer is running.