Most homes are getting a thorough cleaning right about now, as spring is here, and it is time to get the home back into shape. Winter bedding is being washed and sweaters are getting one last cleaning before going into bottom drawers. Every corner of the house is being swept, dust is flying, vacuums are humming, even little vent grills are getting a swipe.
At the end of this burst of productivity, the house smells great and it looks so clean, we all resolve to maintain it in this condition. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to think about what they cannot see, from chimney flues to dryer vents. Spring-clean appearances cause us to unintentionally lose track of dangers that are unseen and hard to keep in mind.
Actually, the goal is for the critical cores of venting systems to look as good as the house. Their inner surfaces need to be just as clean as the laundry room and the fireplace opening. Especially now, when most clothes dryers are getting heavy use with spring cleaning, vent professionals should be called in to do the cleaning.
Clothes dryer vents are notorious for starting house fires when lint trapped inside them is ignited by the heat trapped with it. As a result, there are two problems with unclean dryer vents: 1) they contain something highly flammable and 2) they no longer properly vent heat. That is a deadly combination, as is sadly proven by large numbers of homeowners every year, so these vents need to be cleaned.
Homeowners that thought to move their washer and dryer and clean beneath and around them have a great head start on safety. That, however, is just a start, and the entire dryer vent needs to be just as clean as the rest of the home. Whatever twists and turns it takes, it needs to be cleaned and inspected by chimney and venting professionals, and remain clean throughout the year.