When people call professionals to have their ducts cleaned, they don’t always think about their dryer vents. Dryers are one of the household appliances that consume considerable amounts of energy. To work efficiently, the vents need to be kept clean. Besides saving on energy and working faster, clogged dryer vents are susceptible to catching on fire. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, dryers were the cause of more than 15,000 home fires in the US in one year alone. And the main cause of these fires was filters that had not been kept clean.
Hidden Dryer Vents
The lint trap that you see collects around 60 percent of the lint, but the remaining 40 percent travels through the vent of your dryer and the venting system. The tricky part is that 98% of your dryer’s vent is not visible. You can see the exhaust and hose, but the primary portion of the vent is hidden away within the walls, crawl space or attic. The lint from your dryer can accumulate inside the vent duct and reduce the air flow. Eventually, this will cause the exhaust gases to back up, which can result in a fire.
When to Call for Help
To reduce the chances of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, Dust Doctors recommend cleaning and maintaining your dryer vents with annual inspections. If you’ve never had your dryer ducts cleaned, here is what you should look for:
- You detect a burning smell – Lint is very flammable. If it gets too hot, it may catch on fire.
- Problem with the vent hood opening – If lint surrounding the hose or vent opening is visible, or you can’t close the duct hood flap properly, take that as a sign that air flow is restricted.
- Your clothes are taking longer to dry – If you’re turning on your dryer for twice the amount of time as you used to, something is wrong. This could be a sign that the vent is blocked, which will also cause more wear and tear on your machine.
- Your clothes feel hot when you remove them from the dryer.
Besides the fire hazard of clogged vents, think of all the energy you’ll save by professional duct cleaning once a year. By staying safe, you can also help extend the lifetime of your dryer and help protect the environment.
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