Can Your Clothes Dryer Vent Be A Fire Hazard?

Here’s a question for you. What happens to over 15,000 houses, leading to an average of fifteen deaths and four hundred injuries each year in the United States? The response: fire in your clothing dryer vent With use, the exhaust duct to your clothes dryer can clog with lint. Lint blocks the circulation of air, and if this lint gets too hot, the outcome could be a catastrophic fire in your clothes dryer with awful repercussions.

Dryer vent fires are most often triggered by the lint you can’t see …

How can you inspect to see if your dryer vent is working properly? There are a couple easy things for you to inspect. Examine the outdoors duct while your dryer is running, and make sure air through the line is coming through unobstructed. Second, monitor your drying cycle. If your clothing aren’t drying as quickly as they used to, it may indicate a blocked exhaust vent. Obstructed air circulation or longer drying times are proven indicators that you need to clean out your dryer vent.

You may have the ability to clean your dryer vent.

If your outdoors duct is accessible and connects to your dryer with a straight run of no greater than a couple of feet, then you can most likely clear out the duct yourself. Simply pull your clothes dryer out from the wall, and detach the flex tube that ranges from your clothes dryer to your inner wall. Use a long-handled duster, or a little broom head on a pole, and carefully dust out the inside of your inside-to-outside vent. This should just take a couple minutes. Re-assemble, and you’re done.

Or you might require a dryer vent specialist

Lots of more recent houses have their dryers in the house, with longer, winding dryer ducts causing the outdoors, usually the roofing system. These dryer lines need a different cleaning techniques and many property owners just do not have the appropriate devices to clean through long sections of ducting. So you’ll be glad to know that there are professional dryer vent cleaners, with specialized devices, that can economically remove dust and particles from your vent.

Essential ideas to maintain your dryer vent.

Prior to and after drying each load of clothes, clean the lint screen. Regularly clean behind your dryer where lint can build up. If you’re drying clothes that were soiled with gas, discolorations, cooking oils or chemicals, utilize the lowest heat setting there is. There might still be some unstable substances in the clothing that might spark while drying. Finally, try to keep the area around your dryer clear of rags and other clutter.

A Consumer Reports recommendation

If your dryer has the flexible, plastic or foil type of duct, Consumer Reports suggests that you change that out for rigid, metal ducting. CR advises metal for 2 reasons:

– metal is safer and might contain an accidental lint fire, and

– metal ducting provides a larger maximum for air flow.

Folks, don’t get burned, take a look at your dryer vent, why not now? It could be the most valuable 5 minutes you invest today.