When we think of drying clothes, we hardly think a simple chore like dryer vent cleaning can be disastrous if not done regularly. No matter how you do your laundry, a choked up dryer vent can be a cause for a fire hazard that can cause destruction of property or even death!
Every year 15,000 fires occur in the United States due to the lack of proper dryer vent cleaning. These very much preventable incidents cause at least 300 injuries and about 10 deaths annually. The loss of property due to dryer vent fire related incidents cost up to $85 million. This is why it is vital to keep your dryer vent cleaned and remove accumulated lint inside the dryer vent regularly.
So how do you save yourself from a fire disaster? How do you know whether your dryer needs maintenance or a professional dryer vent cleaning?
Well, check for these following signs to determine yourself.
- Time taken by the dryer vent to dry your clothes is significantly higher. It should usually take only 35 to 45 minutes to dry an average load of laundry.
- If you can feel your clothes coming out of the dryer vent to be unusually hotter, it is a sign that your dryer vent can’t get rid of the hot air because it’s clogged.
- If the flapper or the exhaust termination at the top of the dryer vent, from where the exhaust gases are removed, could not be opened when the dryer is running.
- The gas dryers have a carbon monoxide detector installed in the laundry room. If the vent is clogged up, it makes the carbon monoxide gases to return inside the room since the gases could not get out properly. Therefore, it is recommended to install a detector in your laundry room.
- In more modern and sophisticated dryers there is an electronic indicator that read-out any problem with the dryer vent or lint screen.
- The vent opening is where your air exhaust from your home. More lint coming out from the outside of the vent opening is a sign that your dryer vent is getting choked up.
- Are you getting a burning smell when running the dryer? It is probably the lint. Lints are highly inflammable, and the burning smell is due to small lint parts trapped inside the dryer hose getting very hot. Hot lint can catch fire quickly. Therefore, if you get a burning smell coming from the vent, turn it off and get it checked by a professional.
- If the filter or screen in front of the exhaust termination is clogged up, you need to clean it up immediately. The screen is placed there to keep away rodents from entering the vent, but are not recommended as they get clogged up with lint.
- If your clothes give out a musty or a moldy smell, maybe it is time to get your dryer vent checked.
- If the dryer doesn’t vent properly, it will start getting overheated and damage expensive internal parts. Therefore, it is better to get a professional dryer vent cleaner to clean your vents.
If you have a large family who needs lot of laundries done every day, you need to clean your dryer vent regularly. Even though you can clean the vents on your own, it is always recommended to hire a dryer vent cleaning service near you.