Your dryer vent being clean can be the difference between having dry clothes in complete safety and having less dry clothes, along with a house fire. Making sure your dryer vent is clean is one of the simplest proactive steps you can take to make sure that your home is safe and comfortable at the same time. Often, the professionals can do a better job at ensuring your vent is clean than a layperson can.
Why Dirty Ducts are Bad
Dirty ducts are more than just a nuisance. They can be dangerous for both breathing reasons and for the potential for fire. Having your dryer vent and its ductwork cleaned on a regular basis is a good way to avoid having these problems in the first place. Ducts should be cleaned at least once a year for a bare minimum level of usage. If you have a full family and do lots of laundry, having the duct and dryer vent cleaned two to three times a year is a wise idea. Better to have a very clean vent than to risk harm to your family.
Not Exactly Dirt
The buildup that occurs in your dryer vent and its duct is not actually dirt. After all, your clothes going into the dryer are already clean. The buildup of lint is almost exclusively made up of short threads and other particles of your clothing that come loose during the dryer’s agitation.
The Deceptive Filter
It is easy to forget about the vent and the duct when you are doing regular cleaning. After all, every dryer on the market comes with a filter that you can simply take out and clean off. It is tempting to believe that this simple and removable vent is all you need to deal with if you want your home to be healthy and under far less risk of fire. Unfortunately, there is a significant amount of lint that gets past the built in filter and goes into other parts of your dryer, its dryer vent, and its duct.
One problem that many older homes or homes where improper work was previously done are that there are ribbed dryer ducts in place. Other than from the dryer to the wall, there should not be any ductwork that has ribs, as these can trap large amounts of lint and become a fire hazard much sooner than a smooth-walled duct system would. Any kink or gap in the duct surface can trap lint, which can quickly form a sort of dam within the duct.
Lint Warning Signs
When lint begins to build up, there are warning signs that something is wrong. One is the temperature of your dryer. If it gets hot on the surface, this is a sign that things are not right. If the outside flap on your vent barely opens, it is a sign of reduced airflow and that the buildup is becoming serious. If your clothes either take a long time to dry or do not dry properly, this is also a sign that there is too much lint inside.
The Right Tools
One of the issues that many homeowners run into is that they attempt to clean their dryer vent and the ducts with a vacuum cleaner. While this is a start, it is simply not enough to address the problem fully and will not completely remove all of the lint. In order to get the lint out and avoid a fire hazard, it is best to call a company like Courtesy Care and make sure the job is done right.