According to the U.S Fire Administration, a 2,900 home fire incidents reported each year in the U.S are caused by clothes dryers. Over the years, these fires have caused millions of dollars in property damage, severe injuries and even death. The U.S. Fire Administration states that failure to properly maintain dryer vents, especially in the fall and winter seasons, leads to the high rate of home fires.
Dryer vent cleaning is crucial at all times. Cleaning the vents ensures minimum buildup of lint in the lint filter as well as the seamless passage of air in the exhaust vents. It is even more important that the clothes dryer remains lint-free during winter. Why? Because it is the season when you tend to use heavy clothing and bedding to keep the cold away.
Lint is made of tiny bits of fibers shed by your clothing and bedding during the cleaning process. When you put garments into the washer, lint will be shed from the clothes. Some lint is only released during the drying process. While drying, an air stream will sweep through the clothes blowing the lint off and trapping it in the lint filter.
Materials like wool and heavier cotton fabrics commonly used in cold weather generate more lint. In other words, the thicker the clothing, the more lint is produced; hence the reason why more lint will be accumulated in your dryer during winter. Lint is highly flammable. The possibility of a dryer fire breakout increases with lint buildup.
It is essential to keep track of how often you have your dryer vent cleaned, or at least the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned. If you cannot remember, the following are signs to alert you that there is more than enough lint in the lint filter:
- The laundry room becomes hot and humid: If lint is largely accumulated in your dryer vent, it becomes hard for the exhaust vents to push air out of the house. And because eventually, the hot air has to go somewhere, it will start leaking into your laundry room.
- Your dryer is too hot to touch: If garments or the dryer itself are too hot at the end of a cycle, you should probably check out the lint filter.
- Clothes are taking too long to dry: The moment you have to run the dryer multiple cycles in order for your clothes to dry, then there could be a problem with the ventilation.
- A musty smell: this should be your ultimate warning: A musty or burning smell could mean that the lint has already triggered sparks in the dryer; in which case you should immediately turn off the machine.
Remember that a faulty dryer wastes energy and may even damage your clothes. That’s why you need the vent serviced regularly.
Additional safety tips
After dryer vent cleaning, take the following measures to keep the vent in top shape:
- Clean your dryer’s lint trap at the end of each cycle of clothes you dry. If you cannot see your dryer’s lint trap inside the drum, consult your owner’s manual.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Only let the dryer run when someone or yourself is around to supervise. Otherwise, keep it off when you are away or asleep.
- For proper circulation of air, examine the exhaust vent pipe to ensure nothing is blocking it. The outdoor vent flap should open when the dryer is running.
Call Courtesy Care in Bartlesville, OK, today to learn more about dryer vent cleaning and to find professional cleaning and restoration services.