Has you dryer been performing poorly lately? A good-quality dryer can last a decade (sometimes longer), so if yours is half that age and showing signs of problems, there’s a good chance it’s not the dryer itself that’s the problem… it’s likely your vents!
Fortunately, by hiring a team of experts to annually (sometimes semi-annually if your household is a busy one) clear these out, you can avoid some big and dangerous disasters.
The Threats of Dirty Dryer Vents
The US Fire Administration estimates that clothes dryers account for 2,900 home fires every single year. And from these fires, there are approximately 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
What’s the main cause for the majority of these fires? Dirty dryer vents.
The reason why a clogged dryer vent is so dangerous has to do with lint. Your dryer produces lint, and it can accumulate within your dryer vent and create a blockage, which then causes the system to overheat. And since lint is so flammable (the Boy Scouts of America recommend it as a campfire starter), you can imagine what it can do when your dryer gets too hot.
In the end, your clothes dryer is a heat source that needs ventilation. The vent hose is how the lint, fumes, and heat escape the dryer without affecting the home or the people in it. Even if you clean the lint trap regularly, there are still microscopic particles of lint that pass through the screen, filling your vents, decreasing efficiency, and creating fire hazards
Another threat comes in the form of carbon monoxide, which can leak into your home if the vents from your gas dryer are blocked up. Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless it can be extremely hard to detect. It’s because of this that many are hospitalized due to exposure every single year, and in some cases it can be fatal.
Finally, it’s imperative to consider the threats to the appliance itself. When your vents are clogged, it causes your clothes dryer to overheat when it is working. As mentioned above, this is a huge fire hazard, but it also causes important parts, like the heating element, to wear out earlier than they should.
Professional cleanings will prolong the life of your dryer and help you avoid these costly repairs or the need for a replacement unit. If you have ever had to have your dryer repaired, you know how expensive it can be!
Signs You Need a Service
Not sure where your dryer vents currently stand? If you’re uncertain whether or not you’re due for a cleaning, we’ve got some warning signs to watch for:
- Your loads won’t dry in one cycle. Your clothes dryer is designed to do a specific job in a certain amount of time. It should dry a moderately-sized load of clothes in one cycle. If it doesn’t, many homeowners just start another cycle – and, if needed, another after that. This is unsafe, and it puts extra wear and tear on both your clothes and the appliance, too.
- The lint trap is empty or nearly empty. The lint screen catches about 75% of the lint from each load of clothes, which should fill it up. If you notice that only one part of the screen is collecting lint (or if it’s not catching any lint at all), then your vents are likely clogged. Your dryer vent pulls air through the unit and out the vent. If the air is not flowing properly, no lint will be left on the screen on the lint trap.
- The dryer or clothes are extremely hot after use. The heat your dryer produces should be vented out, but if it’s not, the unit and the clothes in the unit will be too hot to handle right away. This is a clear-cut sign that things are overheating!
- Moisture and lint cover your surfaces. Like heat, the moisture and lint from your clothes dryer should be vented. If your dryer or the space around it is covered in moisture or lint, it means your system isn’t venting properly, and it can pose a threat to your respiratory health and your home/decor.
- Your laundry room is exceptionally warm. The dryer shouldn’t create extra heat for your house. All the heat produced should be used to dry the clothes and any excess heat should be vented. If your dryer heats your living space, there is a clog.
- You notice musty smells. Musty or hot smells shouldn’t make an appearance when you’re drying a load of laundry. This is a surefire signal that things are overheating and your vents likely are the culprit.
Many homeowners assume these things are typically for a clothes dryer or that their system is just getting old or worn out. But unless your system is nearing a decade old, these aren’t the norm! Save yourself time, stress, and money by scheduling an affordable cleaning today.
Dryer Safety Tips
- Do not run your dryer while you aren’t home or after your family is in bed for the night. The majority of clothes dryer fires occur while the family is gone or asleep.
- Your dryer is safer and lasts longer if you follow manufacturer guidelines. Empty the lint trap regularly and use a lint collection brush that fits inside the unit to clean around the drum.
- If you notice a problem with your clothes dryer you should call a professional right away. Don’t put off care!
- Don’t attempt to clean the vents yourself. Only an experienced technician can clean your dryer vent and leave you with a system that will keep working for you.
- The termination hood lets the moisture, hot air, and lint out of doors, and it should be checked regularly. Try to get this about twice per month, to make sure the hood is opening and closing properly. If it is not opening, then your dryer most likely has a clog.
- Make sure that the entire home is equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and if you have multiple floors or a large floor plan, you should install multiple units. (Be sure to test them regularly, too, changing batteries and replacing the units, as needed.)
- Prepare for potential fires by making sure there are two exits from each room in case one is blocked. Make an escape plan for each room, and if you have children or people with mobility issues, it is wise to practice the plan to make sure it is doable for the whole family. In addition to this, establish a safe spot to meet outside of the home in the event of the fire. And once you’re safely out, never go back into a burning home!
Don’t Put it Off… Call Today!
What can you expect when you hire our crew for a dryer vent cleaning?
Our techs will move the dryer away from the wall, remove the back vent, then attach a special vacuum to the vent that leads to the outside of your home. Then, we’ll use a special brush to scrub the inside of the vent tube, after which we’ll reattach everything, clean up after ourselves, then be on our way.
Don’t wait – schedule services now to start the year off with savings and safety. Reach out to our techs today!