How Important is it to Clean The Dryer Vent?

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Dryer Vent CleaningI’m sure that every time you do laundry you notice how much lint your lint trap catches. You have to clean it after every load, or it starts getting hot and not running as efficiently as it should. Today I’m going to go over some pretty boring, but informative statistics regarding the use and safety of your dryer. Please try not to fall asleep while reading – it really is important stuff!

Home maintenance is something most homeowners look at as just another task that has to be done. But how often do you include clean the dryer vent and hose as part of your regular home maintenance? Is it currently on your to-do list? Was it on there at any point over the last six months? Probably not. Let’s take a look at where the lint from your dryer actually goes.

Our First Boring Dryer Vent Statistics

Roughly 98% of your dryer vent is never seen. The visible parts consist of the dryer itself, the hose, and an exterior wall vent. The rest of it is hidden within the wall, between floor joists, in the crawl space, or in the attic. Those parts need to be cleaned, too. Why? (Next boring statistics.)

The lint trap only catches about 60% of the lint your laundry produces in the dryer. You know how much you get from each load, and you know that each load varies. You don’t get as much lint from blue jeans as you do from towels, for example. But still; where does the other 40% go?

The remaining 40% goes through the dryer hose and catches in the vent system. The dryer hose catches a lot of the lint before it even makes it to the vent. A clogged dryer hose presents a number of fire hazards due to the flammable nature of lint.

One last statistic and I’ll stop. More than 15,000 clothes dryer fires occur in North America every year. The National Fire Protection Association’s latest figures show that an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in direct property damage in 2010 alone. Dryers were the cause of 92% of those fires.

Don’t Be a Statistic

I understand that things like the dryer vent and hose often slip your mind. They just aren’t something you consider on a daily basis. You probably don’t really think about the dryer until it isn’t functioning properly, right? Make a note, right now, while you’re thinking about it, to clean the dryer vent or call a certified chimney sweep to do it for you.

Why hire a chimney sweep for dryer vents? Because we have the equipment and the training to clean them without incident. One spark inside your dryer vent or dryer hose can lead to a fire. Don’t take the chance. It’s a messy job, and if there’s anything I’m an expert at, it’s my messy job.

Schedule a time to have your dryer vent and hose checked out at the same time you schedule other home maintenance projects like chimney inspection, cleaning, or maintenance. Some people schedule these things on a date that they’ll remember each year, some mark it on their calendar, and others use an app for tracking home improvements. What do you use? Does your smartphone track home improvement projects for you? Let me know in the comments area below, I’d love to hear your ideas!

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