Costly Dryer Vent Fires are Preventable

Posted on February 27th, 2018

Has a professional ever cleaned your dryer vent? Clogged dryer vents are one of the top causes of home fires.

Is your dryer running slower than usual? Are your clothes damp after running the dryer on high heat? Is there a musty smell in your home when you run your dryer? Has a professional never cleaned your dryer vent? If you said yes to any of these questions, you probably have a clogged or improperly installed dryer vent.

In older homes it was standard to have the dryer on an exterior wall with the vent going straight outside. This was a great set-up that caused little trouble. With newer construction and more convenient laundry areas, dryer vents can be found to be 15 to 40 feet or more in length. This vent can be riddled with elbows and bends that drastically slow the output of air and create clogging spots.

If you have ever ignited lint you would realize it is extremely flammable. Lint comes from your clothes and gets combined with human hair, pet hair, and other fibers. While your dryer dries your clothes, it also dries the lint which becomes plastered to your dryer vent walls. As the vent becomes more blocked, it causes your dryer to overheat which increases the temperature in the vent where it may ignite flammable lint.

Your dryer vent should also be constructed of rigid aluminum or galvanized metal. You should never use a vinyl bathroom vent (the white looking corrugated vent) as your dryer vent. They are highly flammable and not designed for high heat appliances. You should never use a flexible dryer vent connector as your dryer vent. They are designed to be a connector from your dryer to your rigid dryer vent. They should never pass through combustible floors or walls, and should never exceed 8 feet in length.

Your dryer is also one of the top energy users in your home. The drying time of clothes can be tripled when the dryer vent is dirty. This is an excessive waste of money, energy, and time.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Data Center (NFPA.ORG), clothes dryers annually account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 300 injuries. The number one reason in over 70% of all cases is due to failure to clean the vent.

A quick review shows that having a dryer vent cleaning will help:

In addition to having your vent regularly inspected, some helpful tips are: Never leave your home when your dryer is on. Always protect the terminal of your dryer vent from animals. Always clean your lint screen after every use. Replace any vinyl connectors with the proper vent. Never use the flexible connector as your vent that travels through walls. Check to see if your vent is restricted by your dryer being too close to the wall.

Remember, preventative maintenance is key, if you’re already experiencing problems then you are gambling with your safety every time you operate your dryer. We are here for all your dryer vent maintenance needs.

We clean dryer vents in Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Mechanicville, Ballston Spa, Schenectady, Albany, and many of the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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