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The Hazard of Not Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

In many cases, when it comes to your home, dryer vents are considered a bigger fire hazard than chimneys in your home. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported there are 15,500 fires, and 310 injuries annually from dryer exhaust fires. It can happen to anyone.To protect your home and your family, you should have your dryer duct cleaned by a knowledgeable dryer exhaust technician.

The Most Important Reasons To Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned Include:

  • Prevention of dryer fires
  • Extension of the life of your dryer
  • Increase the efficiency of your dryer

In many cases, it is difficult to tell if your dryer vent needs to be cleaned. This is more common in homes where dryers are on top levels in apartments, town homes and condos that don’t have direct routes to the outside. Because dryer vents exhaust hot air and carbon monoxide away from homes, it is more important than ever to make sure dryers and dryer vents are operating efficiently.

To check the efficiency of your dryer vent, we use a meter to test the air flow coming from your dryer vent.  If the air flow is 11 or higher, your dryer vent does not need to be cleaned; however, if the air flow is 10 or below, your dryer vent needs to be cleaned.

Many homeowners also don’t realize that plastic accordion connectors are no longer considered the safest option. The safest option is a rigid metal connector or a UL Listed metal flex-connector cut to the shortest length.

Watch Out for Lint Build Up

Any build-up of lint can easily catch fire and cause a lot of damage to your home and maybe your neighbors’ homes as well. Lint is very hard on a dryer. In fact, just a ½ inch of lint in a four-inch vent can reduce air flow by 50%! Low air flow can also cause the safety switch to automatically turn on, and this can cause your dryer to run at extremely hot temperatures. This creates a perfect combination for a fire. Just think about that for a moment.

Ask any Boy Scout for the perfect material to start a fire and he will tell you dryer lint. That’s why it is so important to have your dryer vents cleaned regularly as part of your spring or fall cleaning routine.

Here Is How Dryer Vents Are Cleaned:

  • After locating your dryer, we check behind the dryer to examine the hose connection for any bends or kinks.
  • We turn on the dryer then go outside to check the air flow.  After determining the airflow, we turn the dryer off.
  • We visually inspect the inside exhaust vent for lint build up and evaluate.
  • We run rotary brushes & rods inside the vent from outside using low RPM drill to remove any large clogs.
  • We then go back inside and use a noodle brush to clean filter chamber inside the dryer.
  • While one person is outside, we use an electric blower to blow through the filter chamber inside the dryer.  The person outside holds a net up outside the vent to catch lint.
  • Lastly, we turn the blower off and the dryer back on, testing the air flow with the meter once again for improvement.

People Forget What is Familiar

Humans are funny creatures.  We think about our fireplaces and chimneys as being potentially dangerous because they actually contain fire. This alone tips us off to get them ready to be used each year, which means the annual inspection and cleaning.

But when it comes to dryer vents, it doesn’t even cross our minds that they might have the potential to be dangerous. We don’t see or feel the extreme heat it can generate, so we assume it to be safe. Therefore, we don’t think about getting the dryer vents cleaned, or we just keep putting it off.

We urge you not to wait until your home catches fire to do something.  Be proactive not reactive.  Don’t make the same mistake that so many people do.  They almost always say that they meant to have it done and just never got around to it.  Put fire prevention at the top of your to-do list, and let us take care of it for you. Contact us today!

 Fire Safe Chimney Sweep can also take care of cleaning out your gutters.