Many homeowners are under the misconception that cleaning the lint filter on your clothes dryer is all that is necessary to keep you safe and your dryer running efficiently. While important, cleaning the lint filter is not enough. White Glove knows that the same hair, debris, lint, and other fibers that you pull from the filter also become trapped deep inside your dryer venting and can cause serious problems. Homeowners just don’t have the proper equipment to reach and remove this build-up.
Problems from clogged dryer venting can cause fire hazards, toxic gas poisoning, reduce the efficiency of your dryer and drive utility bills. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reiterates that dryer fires occur when lint and debris build up in the vents, block the flow of the hot air, and catch fire. According to the CPSC, there are several steps that homeowners can take to minimize this risk and be warned that a potential problem exists:
- Clean the lint screen/filter with each load of clothes. If your clothing takes an unusually long time to dry, it may be due to blocked venting.
- Replace the foil, accordion ducting material with a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct (Do you even know what you have on your dryer?).
- Take care when laundering and drying clothes that have combustibles on them including cleaning products, oils (including motor and cooking), and gasoline. Dry on the lowest setting.
The following CPSC recommendations are best left to a professional technician who has the proper equipment to do a thorough job:
- Clean the entire interior length of the dryer and exhaust venting.
- Clean behind the dryer as well as the inside and include the dryer chassis in that cleaning process.
The Hanover Insurance Group adds these important safety measures to those compiled by the CPSC:
- Gas powered dryers must be properly vented to avoid the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having the gas line and connection inspected annually by a professional.
- Outside wall dampers should have a covering that will keep out rain, snow, and dirt. However, don’t use a wire screen or cloth to protect the opening. It can block and clog the airflow.
Professional cleaning of dryer venting as an effective way to prevent dryer fires has become a recognized and highly regarded skill. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) now offers technicians the opportunity to expand their knowledge base and earn the coveted CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician Credential. “Earning this credential involves study and mastering safety and fire prevention methods as related to clothes dryers including building codes, National Fire Prevention Association 211 and 54 standards and all facets of inspection and cleaning residential and commercial dryer exhaust systems.” as outlined on the CSIA website If at all possible try to do business with a company with certified dryer technicians.
While homeowners can and should take proactive steps to keep their dryers clean. However, the professionals bring the proper equipment to collect the debris embedded deep inside your venting. The last thing the homeowner wants to do is dislodge the build-up and cause a further blockage or damage the venting due to an amateur attempt. Some things are left to the professionals, and cleaning your dryer venting is one of those tasks. You do your part by maintaining the surface area and leaving the deep cleaning to the professionals. If you live in Northern California call White Glove and we will set you up on maintenance program tailored to your needs.