Regarding home maintenance, few tasks are as important – or as often overlooked – as regularly cleaning your dryer vent. A dirty dryer vent significantly increases the risk of a house fire. It can lead to many other problems, including decreased efficiency, excessive wear and tear on your dryer, and even carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sadly, each year there are thousands of house fires caused by dirty dryer vents, and they could have easily prevented many of these with a little bit of regular maintenance. Now is the time to get your dryer vent cleaned if you haven’t done so recently.
The Dangers of a Dirty Dryer Vent
As we’ve mentioned, increased fire risk is one of the most severe dangers of a dirty dryer vent. Lint and other debris accumulate in your vent and become a fire hazard. The US Fire Administration reports that clothes dryers are responsible for an estimated 2,900 home clothes fires yearly. That failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
In addition to the risk of fire, a dirty dryer vent can also lead to several other problems, including:
- Decreased Efficiency: When your dryer has to work harder to push air through a clogged vent, it uses a great deal of energy and takes longer to dry your clothes. This wastes energy and money and can cause your dryer to overheat and break down prematurely.
- Excessive Wear and Tear: In addition to making your dryer work harder, a clogged vent can also put undue wear and tear on the machine. This can shorten its lifespan and lead to costly repairs.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: In some cases, a clogged dryer vent can cause carbon monoxide to build up inside your home. This is especially harmful because carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled.
Fortunately, regular dryer vent cleaning can easily avoid all of these dangers. Our professional dryer vent cleaners have the tools and experience necessary to safely and effectively clean your vent. They can also offer tips on how to keep it clean in between professional cleanings.
If it’s been a while since your last dryer vent cleaning, or if you’ve never had one, contact us today to schedule a cleaning. We’ll help keep your home safe and your dryer working correctly for years to come.
Early Warning Signs to Look Out for
Lint is highly flammable and can easily ignite when it builds up in a dryer vent. A dryer vent fire can spread quickly; before you know it, your whole house could be engulfed in flames.
But there are telltale indicators of accumulation in your dryer that you may look out for. Look out for these things:
- The drying cycle is ineffective. Clothes either need more than one cycle to dry or emerge from a long cycle that is still damp.
- Clothes get a musty odor after being dried in the dryer.
- Clothes are scorching hot right after being removed from the dryer.
- When in use, the vent hood flap is closed.
- The unusual amount of lint accumulation after each wash.
A dirty vent can cause your dryer to work harder and use more energy, leading to higher utility bills. Additionally, a dirty vent can be a fire hazard.
To clean your dryer vent:
- Start by unplugging your dryer and disconnecting the vent from the back of the dryer.
- Vacuum with a hose attachment to tidy up the vent.
- Use a dryer vent brush to clean the inside of the duct.
- Vacuum out the vent again and reattach it to the back of the dryer.
If you observe any of these early warning signs, clean your dryer vent as soon as possible. Preventive and precautionary maintenance can go a long way in keeping your home safe and your utility bills low.
If your dryer vent is not kept clean, several problems can arise. Lint and other debris can build up in the vent, blocking airflow and causing the dryer to overheat. This can lead to a fire in the dryer and the ductwork leading to and from the dryer. Therefore, keeping your dryer vent clean is essential to avoid these problems. You can clean the vent yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.
Duct Doctor Birmingham offers reliable and affordable air duct cleaning services in Birmingham, AL. Contact us right now if you need your air ducts cleaned.