Did you realize your clothes dryer could be a possible fire hazard? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), clothes dryers were involved in approximately 16,800 residential fires that resulted in 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property damages. Dirty and clogged dryer vents were the leading cause of these fires, which is why the NFPA and other national fire safety organizations recommend you have your dryer vents professionally cleaned at least once a year. Fortunately, there are a few red flags that can warn you that your dryer vent needs cleaning. Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service would like to tell you about these warning signs so that you can contact us as soon as you notice them to schedule our professional dryer vent cleaning services.
Check Your Dryer Lint Screen
When your dryer is working normally, the lint screen should catch about 75 percent of the lint produced by each load of clothes, which should cover the entire screen. However, if you notice that only one side of the screen is collecting lint, both sides of the screen are collecting lint, or the screen is not catching any lint at all, your dryer vent is most likely clogged. When air cannot properly flow through the vent, the screen cannot properly collect lint, which is why this is such a red flag. Lint is so flammable that the Boy Scouts of America recommend it as a campfire starter, so you can imagine what it can do when your dryer overheats. You may think that by cleaning your lint trap before each dryer load, you are keeping the vent clean, but the lint trap is not large enough to collect all of the lint produced by a load of clothes.
The Danger of a Clogged Dryer Vent
Your clothes dryer is a heat source that needs ventilation. The vent hose is how the lint, vapor, and heat escapes the dryer without affecting the home or causing a house fire. Even if you clean the lint trap regularly, there are still stray amounts of lint that builds up in that vent, creating a fire hazard and decreasing efficiency, wasting your money and shortening the life of your appliance with each extra cycle. Besides the obvious waste of money and resources, your dryer vent can cost thousands in fire damage and insurance claims.
This loss is 100 percent preventable through routine maintenance and cleaning of your appliance and replacing faulty appliances and parts. A well-maintained clothes dryer saves money on utilities, and it also helps you to avoid having to replace this expensive appliance.
Your Dryer Is Hot To The Touch
A clogged dryer vent causes the appliance to overheat to the point where it can be extremely hot on its exterior. If your dryer becomes too hot to touch when it is in use, it is very important that you contact Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service to schedule a dryer vent cleaning.
A Load Of Clothes Is Still Damp After A Complete Drying Cycle
Your dryer needs a clean vent to exhaust all of the hot and damp air produced from wet clothes, and when the vent is clogged, that damp air is trapped inside the dryer, which makes it difficult to fully dry a load of clothes. A professional dryer vent cleaning will solve this issue, and you will see a reduction in your utility bills when you are not having to run your dryer twice to dry a load of clothes.
What You Can Do
Your dryer vent should be professionally installed. Only a professional knows the ins and outs of fire safety codes and manufacturer guidelines. A Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician (C-DET) knows how large a dryer vent hose should be, how long they should be, what material they should be made of, and what areas of the home they can safely pass through.
Call a Professional
Being alert to these warning signs can prevent a residential fire. If you have noticed any of these signs, contact us at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service today to schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning.