Our 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.