No other household appliance has caused more house fires than dryers. More accurately, the fires happen because of a lack of regularly scheduled dryer duct cleaning. The good news is, the risk of such fires is easily controlled.
Dryer duct cleaning prevents fires
The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2010, more than 15,500 homes suffered fire damage due to back ups in dryer hoses and ducts. When air flow is reduced by accumulated lint and debris, exhaust gases and heat build up, eventually causing a fire. Dryer duct cleaning reduces the risk of fire by allowing a free flow of heat and exhaust.
Added benefit of dryer duct cleaning
Scheduling dryer duct cleaning at least once a year will also save you money by making your dryer more efficient. One of the early warning signs of a dryer duct backup is the time it takes your dryer to do its job. A clogged duct can easily double or triple dryer cycle time.
If it’s taking longer to dry clothes and they still come out with some moisture in them, it’s time you arranged for dryer duct cleaning.
Dryer duct warning signals
Heat generated by your dryer has to go somewhere. If not properly ducted away, heat will try escaping other ways, leaving clothes and the outside of the dryer hot. If clothing comes out of your dryer very hot and the outside of your dryer seem hot, you may need to have your dryer duct cleaned.
Lint is highly flammable, as you can see in our video. If you notice a burning smell when opening your dryer, stop using it. Schedule duct cleaning immediately.
Check the outside hood flap on your dryer vent while your dryer is running. If you see lint or debris, you need dryer duct cleaning. Likewise, if the flap doesn’t open as its designed to do, chances are airflow is blocked signaling a need for dryer duct cleaning.
Smoke detectors and dryer ducts
Both should be serviced annually. Once you get dryer duct cleaning, mark the calendar. Or, have it done when you change smoke detector batteries annually. The idea is to make dryer duct cleaning part of your annual maintenance schedule.
A job for professionals?
While dryer ducts are often short, it’s prudent to have it cleaned professionally. Richard at Done Right Carpet and Tile reminds us that 60% of lint is captured in the lint trap, 40% more goes up and through your dryer vent system.
“Lint can easily build up in more places than you know,” Richard says. “Simply cleaning the duct could leave lint build up in the dryer vent, lint trap housing, the interior dryer duct and even the dryer itself.”
Since 99% of your dryer vent cannot be seen, any lint build up puts you at risk of a fire. Keep your home and family safe with regularly scheduled dryer duct cleaning.