Is there a fire waiting to happen in your clothes dryer vent?
Your dryer vent system requires regular maintenance and cleaning to make sure it is operating and doing its job. A healthy vent system keeps your dryer functioning in an optimal way. If it becomes blocked, the dryer uses more energy and generates more heat in its operation, increasing the risk for a fire. The United States Fire Administration found that each year, approximately 15 people die in clothes dryer related fires, and an additional 400 people are injured. On top of this, Americans spend millions in extra electricity bills due to inefficient dryer systems, and a main culprit for dryer inefficiency is blocked dryer vents.
Here is what a professional vent system maintenance will check for:
- Lint. Even if you clean the lint catcher in your dryer, small pieces of lint still escape through. These can build up in the twists and turns of the dryer vent, resulting in air blockage. A full check up will examine all of the parts of your vent system for lint buildup.
- Insect or animal nests. A dryer vent provides an ideal place for birds to build their nests, and when they pack up and move on, they live their nest behind. These are easy to clean but need to be dealt with immediately, as they provide a place for lent to catch, and this can quickly lead to a partially blocked vent.
- Loose ducts. Ducts can become loose over time, and some careless dryer vent system repair workers use duct tape to repair them. This is dangerous as it can lead to carbon monoxide or hot air release inside your building.
Is your dryer taking longer to dry your clothes, even leaving them wet after a full run? A clogged vent is the likely culprit for this. Clogged vents can also lead to other, less visible problems, including higher electricity bills and unnecessary wear and tear on the dryer.
A professional dryer vent specialist will also check to make sure your vent system is properly constructed:
- it should be at most 25 feet, and each right angle turn in the system counts as 5 feet
- it needs to vent outside, not into crawl spaces or the attic
- it should be at least 4 inches in diameter, and should not constrict at any point in the system
- metal transition ducts should be used to connect the vent system with the dryer
- duct tape should never be used to repair broken parts of the duct system
- a back draft damper should be installed on the outside of the system to ensure exhaust does not re-enter the home
A well-maintained dryer vent system is crucial for keeping your household clean and safe. Make sure that it is regularly inspected by a professionally accredited specialist. This investment will pay off in terms of your family’s safety, and also in terms of the electricity bill. It will also reduce wear and tear on your dryer. Call or schedule an appointment with White Glove Chimney & Duct to get your dryer vent cleaned out and checked out right away.