One of the most common cases of home fires is that resulting from dryer vents. Understanding why dirty dryer vents can result in fires in important. In additional, once you know what to look out for and what to do to clean the vents, you can prevent a fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration there are 2,900 dryer fires in the USA annually.
Knowing that the Vent Needs Cleaning
If you are observant, you will notice a number telltale signs that your dryer vent needs cleaning. Some of these signs are:
- The time for clothes to dry is not as fast as it used to be
- After a drying cycle, the clothes are still damp
- You may also notice a scent of burning when you are using the drying
- Both the dryer and the clothes being dried will feel hot than is the norm
If you can see lint and dirt around the dryer vent and the vent hose, it is time to clean them. In many cases, the build-up of lint will prevent the vent hood from closely complete
Tips for Preventing Dryer Vent Fires
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent dryer vent fires in your home. A few of the most important ones are:
- Getting a professional to do the installation of the dyer. This way, there is little chance that something will go wrong.
- Make sure that you clean the filters before and after each use to remove lint. You should also clean behind the dryer where lint and dust can build-up.
- Every three months at least, the dryer vent pipe itself should be cleaned.
- Regular maintenance is also important. This is one way for any potential problems to be caught and fixed.
- The air exhaust pipe should be installed so that there is no obstruction.
- The dryer should never be overloaded. The bigger the load, the more pressure on the dryer and the more likelihood of the dyer not working at it should. This can cause some components to overheat and cause a spark resulting in a fire.
Paying attention to the little signs that indicate that your dryer vent is dirty can help prevent potential disaster. You can do some of the basic cleaning of the dryer vent, but keep in mind that it’s very dirty, dusty business. It is also important to always have a professional chimney sweep who is certified through the CSIA perform annual maintenance. Call us here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps for dryer vent cleaning.