How often do you clean out your dryer vent? If you’re like most people, the answer is not often or never. And if that’s true, there’s no better time than now to change your ways. Dryer vents can accumulate substantial lint and other debris over time, and without routine cleanings, that buildup can easily get out of hand.

At Dust Doctors, we know many homeowners aren’t aware that routine dryer vent cleaning is essential, not only for their safety but also for the efficiency and longevity of their appliance. If you’re not convinced that excessive debris and lint inside your dryer vent can be dangerous, let us help you change your mind.

Continue reading to learn about the many hazards a dirty dryer vent can present and why routine, professional dryer vent cleaning is a must.

1. Reduces Carbon Monoxide Emissions

If you own a gas dryer, are you aware that your appliance emits carbon monoxide? Or that if your dryer vent becomes clogged with lint, that carbon monoxide can travel inside your home? While alarming, it’s true; so, for you and your family’s safety, routine dryer vent cleaning is absolutely essential.

If it’s been a while since your last dryer vent cleaning, or if you’ve never bothered with removing lint from the vent, it will also behoove you to have your home’s carbon monoxide levels tested. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector in your laundry area to alert you to the presence of this potentially fatal gas.

2. Improves Dryer Efficiency

When your dryer’s vent is clogged with lint, the appliance must work harder than necessary to remove moisture from your clothing and linens. A dryer with a clogged vent must also operate far longer than normal to adequately dry your laundry. And the more time your dryer spends running, the more of an increase you’ll see in your electric or gas bill, depending on the type of dryer you own.

To help restore appliance efficiency and lower your energy costs, ideally, you should have professional dryer vent cleaning at six- to 12-month intervals. When the vent is free from debris, air can flow freely through the system, which allows the appliance to work at maximal capacity, while utilizing far less energy.

3. Lowers the Risk of Fire

According to FEMA, each year, dryer fires are responsible for approximately $35 million in property damage and over 100 injuries. So, unless you’d like to join that statistic, keeping up with routine dryer vent cleaning is critical.

When you allow substantial lint to accumulate in your dryer vent, eventually, that lint begins making its way farther into the hose that directs air from your dryer toward the outdoors. The closer to your dryer the lint gets, the more likely it is to catch fire from the significant heat the appliance generates. Unfortunately, when you allow the lint to build over time, clearing it from within the hose can prove highly difficult, if not impossible, without the proper tools. At that point, the most effective lint removal method is to hire a professional dryer vent cleaning technician.

4. Reducing the Chance of Pest Intrusion

Although it might sound far fetched, small pests can make their way into your dryer vent’s outdoor opening. And if your dryer vent is stuffed full of fluffy, warm lint, that outdoor opening might look particularly attractive to pests seeking shelter.

Mice, rats, wasps, bees, cockroaches, and several other small rodents and insects have been found in dryer vents during professional cleaning sessions. So it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that a small creature or collection of creatures might take up residence inside your vent, too.

Fortunately, regular dryer vent cleaning appointments can help prevent a pest intrusion problem. When the pros clean your dryer vent, they don’t just vacuum out each end as far as a vacuum hose can reach. Rather, they thoroughly clean the full length of the vent hose to eliminate all debris buildup from within it, including small pests that might be sheltering in there.

Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Professional Cleaning

If you think your dryer vent might need a good cleaning, you might also think it’s a smart idea to attempt the job yourself. But while taking the DIY route is a good way to save money on some home maintenance jobs, dryer vent cleaning isn’t one of them.

When you try to clean your own vent, chances are you’ll only effectively clean a small portion of it. If you use a vacuum, you’re limited by the length of the vacuum hose and your inability to see the entire interior of the vent. So ultimately, the vent hose only gets a partial cleaning, and there may be considerable debris left inside.

If you believe your dryer vent is overdue for professional cleaning, you’re probably right. If you’re unsure, here are some signs to keep an eye out for:

●        Your laundry room feels hot after your dryer finishes a cycle.

●        The dryer is hot to the touch after finishing a cycle.

●        Your dryer gives off a burning odor.

●        Your lint trap collects an excessive amount of lint with each load.

●        You see lint or other debris outside the outdoor dryer vent opening.

●        Your clothes take a long time to dry.

●        You feel inconsistent or minimal airflow when placing your hand near the vent’s outdoor opening. 

Schedule Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning in the Twin Cities

At Dust Doctors, it’s our job to maintain healthy indoor air quality for you and your family. That’s why we provide professional dryer vent cleaning and duct cleaning for homeowners throughout the greater Twin Cities metro. Whether you’re looking to improve your indoor air quality or keep your home safe from dangerous fire hazards, our qualified, experienced team is here to help you do it.

To learn more about our duct and dryer vent cleaning services, give our team a call at 651-319-9777 or send us a message online with any questions or concerns. You can also request a free service quote, and we’ll get in touch promptly with more information.

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