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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.

Dryer Not Working Like It Should?

Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Image - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsOur dryers are often one our most used – yet least maintained – appliances. Although we rely on them to work day in and day out, few of us do much to make sure our dryers continue to run safely and efficiently.

Keeping your dryer running efficiently may be as easy as having your dryer vents cleaned. A professional dryer vent cleaning not only greatly reduces your chance of dryer fire, but also keeps your dryer running the way it should.

Clogged vents and safety

Clogged dryer vents mean more than just drying clothes over two cycles; if vents are allowed to continue to accumulate lint this can lead to a dangerous dryer fire. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are more than 15,000 house fires each year caused by dryers, equaling tens of millions in damages to homes and personal property.

As the dryer runs, the same lint that is collected in the lint trap after each load begins accumulating in small amounts in the dryer vents. These small amounts will grow over time, eventually beginning to constrict the air flow to the dryer. In order to compensate, the dryer produces hotter and hotter air in an effort to dry the clothes. Eventually, this super heated air can combine with the highly flammable lint and lead to a fire.

Luckily, the risk for dryer fires can be significantly reduced by having vents professionally cleaned. The special brushes, vacuums, and equipment used by vent cleaning professionals not only removes any accumulated lint or debris, but also looks for the condition of the venting and any holes or kinks in the hoses.

Clogged vents and dryer performance

One thing that can prevent your dryer from working correctly is clogged vents. To prevent dryer vents from becoming clogged, it is recommended that they are cleaned at least once per year. Doing this removes any lint, debris, or blockages in the vent system; this significantly reduces the risk of dryer fire.

In addition to being a fire hazard, clogged vents can also keep your dryer from running efficiently. Oftentimes, homeowners will replace their dryer which has stopped working well, only to find out that the dryer vents were to blame!

When dryer vents begin to get clogged, a dip in dryer performance is often the first sign that something is wrong. The following are warning signs that your dryer vents may be clogged.

  • Clothes take longer than one complete cycle to dry
  • More and more lint begins accumulating in the lint trap after every load
  • The laundry room or surrounding area becomes excessively warm when the dryer is running
  • Clothes or the dryer are too hot to touch after running
  • The inside of the dryer has a strong, musty odor
  • Lint and debris can be seen around exterior vents

While clogged dryer vents can impact the efficiency of your dryer, they can also affect the safety of your family. To prevent dryer fires and keep your dryer working like it should, call Pristine Sweeps today to schedule your professional dryer vent cleaning.

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