Our Company Blog

Does Your Dryer Vent Need Cleaning?

Many homeowners make one mistake. They assume that all they need to do to maintain their clothes dryer is to clean the lint trap frequently. Even if you empty the lint trap after every single cycle, it may not be enough. As long as there is air coming through the vent, it is also carrying microscopic pieces of lint that affects the dryer vent. Consequently, when that lint builds up in the ventilation system it can put your family at risk!

Does Your Dryer Vent Need Cleaning Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsSigns of a Dirty Dryer Vent

  1. Is your dryer is unusually hot or heating up the room where it’s installed? If so, it isn’t venting properly. The dryer vent should carry that excess heat out of the house and release it outside.
  2. If your dryer releases moisture into your home, making it more humid and causing steam on the walls and windows near the appliance, it isn’t venting properly. The water vapors should be carried through the dryer vent to outdoors.
  3. Does it takes more than once cycle to dry a moderately sized load of laundry? The dryer vent is clogged. The average dryer should last ten years, according to manufacturers. So, there’s no reason for a dryer to become worn out when it’s less than three years old.
  4. If your dryer vent flap doesn’t open to let the air escape, there is most likely a clog in the vent.

When to Call a Professional

The best way to use and care for your clothes dryer is to start by calling a professional. When you have the appliance professionally installed, you insure it’s installed correctly. A professional will abide by manufacturers’s specifications and local codes. Most homeowners don’t know that the dryer vent should be no more than 4 inches in diameter, no more than 25 feet long, and each 90 degree angle adds 5 feet to the total length.

Other regulations and recommendations for dryer vents:

  • Dryer vents should be independent of other systems.
  • They should terminate OUTSIDE the home, not in crawlspaces, attics, or basements.
  • The outdoors termination hood should be equipped with a back-draft damper.
  • Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and exhaust duct.
  • Flexible dryer vent ducts should never be used in an attic, a crawl space, or inside a wall.

When a dryer vent isn’t installed correctly it is an invitation for clogs. A too-long vent or a hose with too many turns can mean more spaces for lint to build up, clogging the vent completely. This allows hot air to ignite the flammable materials inside!

The Only Nationally Recognized Credential for Dryer Vent Safety

Dryer vents have become so much of a fire hazard that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) created the CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician, the only credential of its kind. At Pristine Sweeps our technicians are trained and experienced dryer exhaust technicians. Our first priority is the safety and comfort of our customers.

If you have any signs of a clogged or damaged dryer vent, you should find a C-DET professional right away. Call 206-574-8414 today, or make an appointment online.

The Importance of Chimney Caps

Your chimney cap is the first line of defense for your chimney. It protects the flue opening from the top year-round. The design of a chimney cap can be simple. Usually it is constructed of a stainless steel or copper top and a mesh cage beneath it. The cap is secured to the top of the chimney and works together with the chimney crown. This prevents water intrusion from the top of the system.

The Importance of Chimney Caps Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsChimney Caps Keep Water Out

Through the year there can be over 24 inches of precipitation in the form of rain and snow. Consequently, even more than that on average in Seattle. That’s why it’s often called the wettest area in the U.S. Without a chimney cap to cover your flue opening, this precipitation falls directly into your chimney system. Water intrusion is the most detrimental thing that can happen to your masonry. It damages it from the inside out, undetected until substantial damage has occurred. The best way to prevent water from entering the system from the top? A chimney cap combined with a chimney crown. For other information about waterproofing, click here.

Chimney Caps Keep Wildlife Out

Weather is not the only thing that can fall into a chimney. Some wild critters can crawl down the chimney and nest there. The harsh winter is a time when animals seek the dry, warm shelters. Just like one that is offered by an unprotected chimney flue. Small animals like squirrels and chipmunks can easily slip into a chimney flue undetected. During spring, birds can often be heard flitting around and chattering inside a chimney flue as they nest there, safe from predators.

If animals are allowed to nest or hibernate in your chimney, they leave behind debris. In addition, even become suffocated, stuck, causing a dangerous blockage. Not to mention foul odors that can permeate your entire house. It’s best to have a cap installed so that critters can’t get into your system. Even if they climb in and out without nesting, they can still claw the liner. Thus, leading to a weakness and eventually deterioration.

Chimney Caps Keep Flames In

The mesh cage around the chimney cap doesn’t only keep wild animals out of your chimney flue, but also is a spark deterrent. Unruly flames often throw sparks up a chimney along with the smoke and vapors that rise on a swift updraft. If these sparks are allowed to escape the flue opening, they can ignite leaves, sticks, and any other debris on the roof, even sometimes reaching the ground below. It may seem like a rare occurrence, but it is possible, especially if you have debris on the roof and certain, more flammable roofing materials.

Chimney caps are just one step in preventing damage and extra costs in repairs later. You should take care to remember annual inspections and regular chimney sweeps that are vital to maintaining proper safety and efficiency of your entire system. Pristine Sweeps offers these routine services, as well as other preventative measures like waterproofing. Call Pristine Sweeps today at 206-574-8414 or schedule an appointment online.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment