How Safe is Your Dryer Vent?

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When was the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? We are not just talking about the lint trap in your dryer, we are talking about the long hose that goes from your dryer to the outside of your home as well as the vent that is attached to the outside of your home. Both of those items need to be cleaned out regularly too. If you are not sure when the last time you cleaned your vents was, then you may want to look for these warning signs that means that it needs to be done immediately:

  • Clothing that is taking longer to dry in a dryer is never a good thing. This means that the dryer vent is blocked and the air is not circulating properly. The hot and moist air is staying inside the dryer with your clothes.
  • If the outside of your dryer is very hot, it means that your vent is not letting air out properly. This may reduce the life expectancy of your heating element and blower by years.
  • A burning smell is never good when it comes to drying clothes. This type of smell may mean that some of the lint inside the hose or vent has caught on fire. This fire can spread quickly throughout your entire house.
  • An outside flap that doesn’t open means that there is too much lint inside. The air flow from the dryer will be significantly reduced.
  • All that you need to do to clean out your dryer vent is move your dryer out from the wall. Remove the vent from the dryer and use a brush to remove the bulk of the lint. Once that is done, you can use a vacuum to remove the smaller pieces. You will then need to go outside to remove any lint from the trap on your house.
  • Before you push the dryer back up towards the wall, we recommend vacuuming that area as well. Lots of lint, dust, and other objects can find their way back there and they can cause a fire as well.

There are many benefits from cleaning out your dryer vent regularly including:

  • Your clothes will last longer
  • Save money with shorter drying times
  • Prevent fires
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Extend the life of your dryer
  • Save time doing laundry
  • No more mold and mildew growth

The number of times that you need to clean your dryer vent will be dependent on how much laundry you do. You can start by doing it every four months or so and then adjust your schedule by how it looks when you are cleaning it out.

Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is a local, family-owned and operated company with two CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps to better serve homeowners along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a dryer vent cleaning or inspection. Also follow us on Facebook for even more great information about keeping your dryer safe for years to come.

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