Your chimney or furnace is not the only system in your home that may cause fires. Your dryer vent is a similar system designed to vent heat and lint from the clothes dryer, but needs routine maintenance to work properly. If it isn’t properly maintained, the clothes dryer may be a major fire hazard.
The Danger of Clothes Dyers
Homeowners don’t know how to properly install a dryer vent. Many don’t even realize there are safety standards, many of which are specified in the User Guide. For instance, the dryer vent should not exceed 25 feet in length (and each 90-degree turn equals 5 feet). Dryer vents come in flexible transition ducts and exhaust ducts, and each has its own purpose. Dryer vent ducts should not be less than 4” in diameter and should be as large as the outlet.
There are 2,900 clothes dryer fires reported each year, accounting for 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. These fires are preventable with proper installation, use, and maintenance of clothes dryers. The majority of these fires were caused by one problem: failure to clean the dryer.
Many homeowners think that a store delivery and routinely emptying the lint trap is all it takes for a clean dryer vent. However, this is incorrect.
When the clothes dryer is delivered from the store, it is not professionally installed. Your dyer vent should be professionally installed as a safety precaution. Then the homeowner should read the complete User Guide, including maintenance and use. The manufacturer includes specific maintenance instructions for each various model. Get to know your appliance, and follow instructions and schedule maintenance to preserve.
Signs You Need a Dryer Vent Cleaning
If you have noticed a change in your dryer’s performance, it’s likely a dryer vent problem. Some sure-fire signs that you need a dryer vent cleaning include:
-The dryer takes more than one cycle to dry a moderately-sized load.
-The dryer feels hot to the touch, clothes are excessively hot once dried, the house gets warm while the dryer runs.
-The laundry room or appliance covers in condensation or lint while the dryer runs.
-The vent outlet outside isn’t producing air or lint to the outside.
If you schedule routine dryer vent cleanings, it will save you money. All of the symptoms of a clogged dryer vent cost you money. When you run your dryer three times for one load, you burn three times the energy and it shortens the life of your dryer by three times. Your dryer should last ten years according to manufacturers. Do you know anyone that’s used the same dryer for ten years? Routine maintenance is the only way to take care of your property, including your dryer. When your dryer is working well, it also saves you money in home cooling. Save money this summer by using a dryer that works well and doesn’t heat your house.