With things like carpools, soccer practices, and other family-related activities monopolizing your time, it should come as no surprise that some things, often through no fault of our own, take a back seat to everything else that’s going on. One thing that’s commonly overlooked by homeowners is the proper maintenance and cleaning of their dryer vents. Many homeowners are under the impression that cleaning these vents isn’t all that important. This couldn’t possibly be further from the truth!
A Little Lint Isn’t a Big Deal!
Excessive lint build up occurs slowly and gradually. Many homeowners often don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late. Your dryer vent is one of those forgotten vents in your home that either runs to the roof or through an outer wall to the outside of your home. You think that by cleaning out your dryer’s lint filter after each load of laundry you’re doing your job and properly maintaining the dryer. To borrow Lee Corso’s catch phrase – “Not so fast, my friend.” What many homeowners don’t realize is the potential fire hazard they’re creating by not having their dryer vent cleaned annually.
Pay Attention to Safety Alerts
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety alert on clothes dryer fires, offering several important tips for preventing dryer fires, including dryer vent and dryer duct cleaning:
- Clean your lint trap before or after drying each load of clothes.
- Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically.
- Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up.
- Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
There are thousands of fires caused by dryer lint buildup every year. One of the ways to decrease the chances of fire is to clean your dryer vent after every load of laundry for which it’s used. In fact, studies show that effective cleaning of dryer vents can reduce the chances of a dryer fire by nearly 90%. Not only does vent cleaning help prevent house fires, it also helps to ensure that your clothes are dry and smelling nice after each use.
For Those Interested in Saving Money
Aside from the dangers of fire, buildup of dirt and lint in the dryer vent can also significantly increase your energy consumption. This is due in large part to the fact that a clogged vent makes your dryer work harder and longer in order to dry your clothes. There are numerous warning signs that you can watch for that will indicate that you have a dirty dryer vent. Possible signs include:
- Your dryer no longer dries the clothes in one cycle.
- The clothes carry a musty smell after a drying cycle.
- The dryer seems to run hotter than normal.
- A sizable amount of lint can be seen around the lint filter.
- Debris is visible within the outside dryer vent opening.
In addition to this laundry list of warning signs, a dirty dryer vent will also result in a costlier electric bill. If your dryer vents have seen their better days, the pros at Fluesbrothers Chimney Service are here to help! Call or click here to schedule an appointment online and let us take care of all your dryer vent cleaning needs.