Now that the holiday season is behind you and before you settle in for your Long Winter’s Nap, make sure you’re taking care of your clothes dryer vents. January is the most dangerous month for homes as this is the time that house fires are at their peak for the year. These fires are not all caused by heat appliances, though a great deal is. Many fires occurring each year are caused by clothes dryer vents that are neglected and overused. It’s essential for the safety of your home and your family that you take this time to service your dryer vent and any other system in your home that may be a danger—including your fireplace and chimney system.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires every year. Of these fires, the leading cause is the failure to clean the dryer vent, which is a devastating oversite, resulting in 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. This fact means one thing—these fires, this property damage, and the deaths and injuries are preventable. In order to bring down the occurrence of these types of fires and keep our customers in and around Redding and Chico, California safe, we offer dryer vent services year-round. We especially encourage our customers to have their dryer vents cleaned during winter. January is the time when homeowners are more comfortable using clothes dryers for the supplementary heat they create. Unfortunately, when the dryer heats the house it is a sign that there is a dangerous problem with the dryer vent.
Signs of a Dryer Vent Problem
The clothes dryer works much like a fireplace. Through proper installation and operation of the unit, heat is generated to dry the clothing and then a vent is used to remove the excess heat, moisture, and pollution from the system and the home. Through the dryer vent, moisture, lint particles, and heat should move constantly while the dryer is in use. If the dryer vent isn’t cleaned regularly—at least annually—the lint particles will coat the interior of the duct, pack densely with the moisture, and then slow the ventilation even more. As the airflow is obstructed, the high temperatures can ignite the lint and start a dangerous fire. If you haven’t yet had your dryer vent cleaned this year, it may be showing signs of a problem without your noticing. The following things are good indications that you have a clogged dryer vent.
- The dryer unit raises the temperature in the home and the clothes are extremely hot or even heat-damaged after being dried.
- The dryer requires multiple cycles to completely dry a moderately-sized load of clothes.
- There are moisture and lint left on surfaces in your laundry room or house after the dryer is used.
- There is little to no lint in the lint trap between loads.
- The exterior opening of the dryer vent is clogged with lint.
The problem with unsafe dryer vents is that homeowners assume they are working normally for their age or their use, however, all of the above signs indicate a clogged dryer vent. The biggest sign that a dryer vent is clogged is a unit that needs multiple cycles to get the job done. Not only does this use 2 to 3 times more electricity, but it shortens the life of the unit by 3 to 5 years! Consumer reports claim that clothes dryers units are designed to last ten years, and if your dryer is malfunctioning at less than 5 years old, the dryer vent is most likely clogged.
Safe Dryers, Safe Homes
Dryer safety is so important for the safety of your home that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) issues the following tips:
- Hire a professional to install and service your dryer.
- Do not use the dryer unit without a lint filter.
- Clean the lint filter before and after each cycle.
- Remove any lint from around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible ductwork should be used for optimal airflow
- Check the outdoor vent flap regularly and schedule annual lint removal
- Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional
- Ensure the dryer is connected by a proper plug and outlet
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions
- Don’t overload the dryer
- Do not run the dryer while your family sleeps or is out of the home
If you have had your dryer unit installed and serviced properly, your home is already safer than it might have been. To ensure your home and family are as safe as possible at all times, make sure you have an escape plan, that you have working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and you have a professional to call in the event of an emergency.
Dryer Vent Cleaning in Chico and Redding
If you reside in or around Chico and Redding, you can put your home in the hands of the best. Schedule dryer vent services with White Glove Chimney and Air Duct. We’ll check your dryer vent for proper installation, clean it of lint and buildup, and ensure it’s properly installed and in working order. Schedule online, call 530-924-3164 or stop by at 3128 Thorntree Dr. in Chico.