Don't be a fire statistic! Have your dryer vent professionally cleaned.

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Don't be a fire statistic! Have your dryer vent professionally cleaned.

Posted By My Guy || 4-Mar-2014

Each year, 15,000 fires, 15 deaths and 400 injuries are attributed directly to dryer vent fires by the U.S. Fire Administration. That's a staggering statistic that doesn't have to happen. Failure to clean the lint from the dryer vent is the leading factor in clothes dryer fires. All too often there are news reports of a homeowner turning on the dryer, leaving home to shop or go to work, only to return to find that their home has suffered from fire damage. Fortunately this issue is preventable. The dryer vent experts share the warning signs that could indicate that you could have a vent that needs to be cleaned.

How long does your dryer take to dry a load of clothes? It should take less than one cycle. Many people are accustomed to using multiple cycles to dry a load of clothes. Oftentimes people mistakenly attribute the longer drying times to aging dryers.

In reality the real culprit is almost always the dryer vent. And just to be clear, we're not talking about the lint screen that should be cleaned of lint after every load. The lint screen only captures about 25% of the lint expelled by the dryer. It is the dryer vent itself that starts behind the wall and eventually makes its way to the outside, usually through the roof or an exterior wall. Over time, lint starts to accumulate on the inside of the dryer vent and the lint continues to build up until the vent becomes clogged.

The result is that the dryer has to run much longer than normal and thus a substantial amount of energy is wasted, on average costing the typical household an extra $240 in utility costs annually. Typically all that is needed to resolve the problem is to have the dryer vent cleaned. Often many of our customers state how grateful they are that they did not have to buy a new dryer and how thrilled they are that they can dry a load of clothes in 25 minutes instead of 2 hours.

Sometimes merely cleaning the dryer vent is not enough however. It may make more sense to re-route or replace it. Building code stipulates that most residential dryer vents cannot exceed 15' in length while making no more than two turns. Our professional technicians see dryer vents every day that are far longer and make many more turns. Such dryer vents are truly designed to fail and place the homeowners at considerable risk of a fire.

Leading appliance manufacturers recommend annual dryer vent inspections and cleanings to ensure that your system is in proper working order. In addition, your dryer can provide you with warning signs of excess lint or other problems. Paying attention to these warning signs can save you time and money, and may prevent a devastating dryer fire.

Common Warning Signs of Dryer Vent Clogs

Dryer Vent Don’ts

Many times during dryer vent cleaning appointments, the professional technicians often see a variety of issues with your dryer vent that can cause problems. To help keep you safer we’ve compiled a list of “Dryer Vent Don’ts” and can assist you in correcting any problems with your dryer vent system.

DO NOT use vinyl, or slinky foil materials for dryer vents.

    1. Dryer vents made from flexible plastic or foil can be easily kinked or crushed, restricting airflow. The ridges in vinyl and slinky materials can also catch excess lint, creating an increased fire risk. If a dryer fire should occur, these materials quickly spread the fire.
    2. Static in plastic venting causes lint to stick to the inside of the vent walls, which can mix with the expelled water during a typical dry cycle, creating sludge and an increased risk of a fire.

DO NOT use duct tape to connect venting materials.

    1. The adhesive dries out over time, especially due to temperature changes, creating gaps in the joints of the vent.

DO NOT use screws or bolts to secure joints.

    1. Screws and bolts act as lint collectors inside the vent wall and create an increased fire risk.

DO NOT terminate dryer vents in crawlspaces or attics.

    1. Dryer vents that terminate in crawlspaces or attics allow for moisture to deposit, and encourage mold growth and health hazards. Dryer vents must terminate to the outside of the building.

DO NOT use cages or screens to prevent pests from entering.

    1. The use of pest cages or screens can allow lint to build up, creating a fire hazard and reducing the dryer's efficiency.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Benefits

For peace of mind, have your dryer vent professionally inspected, cleaned, and repaired or re-routed if necessary.

Categories: Appliances

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