You clean the lint trap after every load of laundry, why should you worry with the dryer vent? The lint trap captures all of the lint after all, right? Unfortunately, no it does not. The dryer is actually a potentially dangerous appliance that is responsible for about 15,000 (fifteen thousand) house fires each year. That’s a lot of damage that could potentially be avoided by cleaning the dryer vent and hose.
When to Clean the Dryer Vent
You may need to have the dryer vent cleaned if you notice the dryer isn’t drying as efficiently as it once did. If you notice that you have to restart the dryer more than usual to finish drying a load of laundry, it probably needs to be cleaned. When the hose and vent are full of lint, heat isn’t distributed as it’s supposed to be. This is why the dryer takes longer to dry a single load of laundry and may need to be restarted to finish.
DIY Dryer Vent Cleaner Kits
Yes, technically you can clean the dryer vent and hose on your own. But please take care if you plan to go the DIY route. One spark can cause a fire that can spread throughout your home. The dryer vent is usually located on the exterior of the home near the dryer. This means that if your laundry room is on the second floor, you may need to use a ladder to clean the hose and vent, which introduces an entirely new danger to the process.
The likelihood of damage due to a dryer vent fire has become so well-known that many apartment or condominium complexes and homeowner’s associations now require regular cleaning to prevent fires. Some homeowners look at this as a way to increase the cost of living in their area, but when you look at the statistics, it’s simply a preventative measure against accidental fire and a way to protect the neighborhood.
Avoid Clogged Dryer Vents
Regular cleaning is very important to the proper functionality of the dryer. When the dryer vent or hose becomes blocked by lint, heat cannot escape and continues to build up within the hose. Too much heat will catch the already-highly-flammable particles of cotton and polyester on fire and create a fire that spreads very quickly through the vent and into the dryer.
We have two C-DET certified (Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians) here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service. We provide all types of fireplace, chimney, and dryer vent cleaning services to homeowners in Delaware County and along the Main Line. Call us any time for a consultation or to schedule your yearly dryer vent cleaning.