The main reason why dryer vent fires occur is that homeowners fail to have them cleaned regularly. Dryer vents tend to collect lint and other types of debris which will accumulate after repeated use. Dryer cleaning should actually be part of your regular home maintenance schedule. According to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly 15,000 house fires are caused by dryers each year. This tells you that it is a significant safety issue that every homeowner should be aware of.
Signs of Clogged Vents
A dryer adds convenience to our everyday lives. Like other appliances, when there is a problem you will notice some telltale signs that tell you it is time to get your dryer checked out. The most obvious sign that your dryer vents are clogged is when you are forced to run a second cycle to dry your clothes. This happens because the heat and moisture cannot escape through the vents, thus not drying the clothes properly. Also, if your clothes come out hotter than usual, this is a sign that the dryer is working harder than it should. This overheating will cause the lint to burn and give off a burning smell.
Reducing the Risk
You should check and empty your dryer lint traps often to help to maintain dryer performance. Having a professional clean your vents every year will keep them clear and keep your home safe. The average length of these vents means that lint can end up anywhere. Flaws in the design of your vents can also lead to lint accumulation. Some dryer vents pass through cooler areas of a home which slows the heating process and leaves lint behind. If your dryer does not perform as well as it should, the problem could be the setup of your vents. A professional assessment will reveal any deficiencies in your system.
If your dryer vents have not had any attention in a while, you will be doing the smart thing by getting them inspected and cleaned. Since clogged dryer vents reduce dryer efficiency, getting the vents cleaned could save you money on your electricity bills while making your home safer.
You should have your dryer vent and hose inspected or cleaned once a year by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified professional. Both of the licensed and insured chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA certified and CDET (Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians) with experience dealing with dryer hoses and vents, common chimney problems and complex issues that homeowners may face with their chimney. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to discuss your dryer vent or dryer hose, especially if you haven’t had it cleaned in a while.