With things like carpools, soccer practices, and all of the other family-related activities you deal with on a regular basis, it should come as no surprise that some things, often through no fault of your own, take a back seat to everything else that’s going on. One such item that is commonly overlooked by homeowners is the proper maintenance and cleaning of dryer vents. It sounds simple enough, yet many think that cleaning these vents isn’t all that important. This error in judgment couldn’t be further from the truth!
Lint Accumulations are a Dryer Fire Waiting to Happen
There are thousands of fires caused by dryer lint buildup every year. One of the ways to decrease the chances of fire is to clean your dryer vent after every load of laundry for which it’s used. In fact, studies show that effective cleaning of dryer vents can reduce the chances of a dryer fire by nearly 90%. Not only does vent cleaning help prevent house fires, it also helps to ensure that your clothes are dry and smelling nice after each use.
Lint Buildup Leads to Increased Energy Consumption
Aside from the dangers of fire, buildup of dirt and lint in the dryer vent can also significantly increase your energy consumption. This is due in large part to the fact that a clogged vent makes your dryer work harder and longer in order to dry your clothes. There are numerous warning signs that you can watch for that will indicate that you have a dirty dryer vent. Possible signs include:
- Your dryer no longer dries the clothes in one cycle
- The clothes carry a musty smell after a drying cycle
- The dryer seems to run hotter than normal
- A sizable amount of lint can be seen around the lint filter
- Debris is visible within the outside dryer vent opening
In addition to this laundry list of warning signs, a dirty dryer vent will also result in a costlier electric bill.
Lint Accumulations must be Removed Regularly
To avoid this potentially dangerous buildup inside your exhaust duct, you need to follow a predetermined maintenance schedule. As a general rule of thumb, the majority of dryer vents need to be cleaned at least once a year; some dryer ducts will need more frequent attention. Some determining factors include:
- The number of people who are using the same dryer
- The age and condition of the dryer
- The length of your dryer vent
The best way to ensure dryer safety is to clean the lint screen after every use and to have your vent and duct thoroughly cleaned regularly.
Each time you use your dryer lint builds up in the vent. Cleaning the lint screen will help you keep the dryer running and working well, but a little lint will remain within the vent. It’s very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the accumulated lint poses a very serious hazard to your house and everyone in it. If you’re ready to see exactly what’s lurking in your dryer vent, contact the professionals at Environmental Chimney Service today so we can get to the business at hand: “Helping to keep your home environment safe.”