A frequent complaint regarding home dryers is that it takes multiple cycles to dry one load of laundry. Homeowners often think the dryer is “just getting old”, or “worn out”. This is a common assumption that can lead to costly problems in the future. To avoid increased risk of fire, the dryer vent should be cleaned routinely by a professional.
The Dryer Vent Versus the Lint Trap
But, I clean my lint trap all the time, you might say. This is a good habit, and it does improve performance to clean the lint trap frequently. However, it is not the same as cleaning the dryer vent. The ventilation hose that leads from the back of the dryer to the outside of the house is the dryer vent, and should be cleaned by a professional regularly.
Neglected dryer vents are the leading cause of dryer-related fires and are responsible for hundreds of injuries, and dozens of deaths each year. Neglecting your dryer vent can cause loss of life, loss of property, and loss of money , and as efficiency decreases, cost increases.
Lint in the Ventilation Hose
Even with a lint trap that is frequently cleaned, dryer vents fill with lint over time. If left unchecked this lint can keep building up, and eventually obstruct the air flow in the vent. If the air flow is restricted, the heat can build up inside the vent and lint and debris can ignite.
Most dryer venting systems are made to open to the outside of the house by way of a flap. These vents are easily accessible to wildlife, like small birds and mammals. The animals have found a warm, dry space to nest, and will bring with them their nesting materials, and will most likely have babies as well. Nesting materials like straw, string, and sticks are flammable debris that can cause an obstruction and fire. The best way to prevent animals from nesting in your dryer vent is to have it routinely cleaned.
Lower efficiency is only part of the problem with leaky vents. When a vent has a leak, even a small one the airflow slows, which causes hot air to linger near debris where it could ignite and cause a house fire. During a routine dryer cleaning a White Glove technician will check for leaks in your dryer vent. This is particularly important if the vent hose is long.
Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A leaky or obstructed dryer vent increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct released when fuel is burned. In clothes dryers carbon monoxide is released through the dryer vent. If the vent is obstructed by debris, lent, or incorrect installation, carbon monoxide can enter the home, unable to vent outside.
To avoid the risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, or higher energy costs, call a dryer vent specialist today, and have yours cleaned and inspected. White Glove dryer vent technicians are CSIA Certified Exhaust Technicians® with experience in dryer vent cleaning, inspection, installation, replacement, and repair. Schedule an appointment with White Glove today.