Beware: Clogged Dryer Vents Are Fire Hazards
Do you appreciate your washer and dryer? I’ll bet you do. I know I do! If you’ve ever been without this dynamic duo and had to frequent a laundry mat, you know exactly what I’m saying. But do you have any idea that your much-appreciated dryer could become a fire hazard inside your home? Yes, I said fire hazard. Clogged dryer vents must be cleaned regularly and completely to prevent a structure fire or poisonous gas injury.
The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Data Center reports:
- Clothes dryers are responsible for about 15,600 structure fires each year
- Eighty percent of those structure fires begin in clogged dryer vents
- Clogged dryer vent fires result in 15 deaths and 400 injuries on average each year
Prevent fire hazards caused by clogged dryer vents
Dryer vents can become clogged and lead to a fire in your home. Decrease dryer vent lint buildup and debris with regular cleaning, and you’ll reduce fire hazard risks in your home. Here are 10 ways to prevent buildup and your dryer from becoming a fire hazard:
- Replace vinyl and plastic transition ducts between the dryer and the main vent with semi-rigid metal ducts.
- Clear the dryer vent pipe of debris.
- Schedule a dryer vent cleaning with Blue Frost Heating & Cooling at least once a year.
- Use dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener sparingly.
- Run your dryer for only 30 to 40 minutes per batch of laundry.
- Line dry clothing, heavy bedding, pillows and other large items outside.
- Use a shop vacuum to keep the outside of your dryer vents free of debris.
- Consider installing a ventilation cap designed to keep the outside dryer vent free of blockages.
- Clean out the inside of the dryer around the lint trap and remove debris and excessive lint with a vacuum.
- Remove the back of the dryer to vacuum out lint that is trapped behind the machine periodically.
Dryer vents should be cleaned once a year to prevent structural fires and gas leaks caused by excessive buildup. If you use your dryer more than twice a week on a regular basis, it may be necessary to clean your dryer vents more often.
Signs that your dryer vent is clogged
It’s time to clean your dryer vent if you notice any of the following signs:
- Clothes are not completely dry at the end of a normal drying cycle
- Clothes smell musty at the end of a drying cycle
- Clothes feel unusually hot at the end of a drying cycle
- Not enough air is exiting the dryer vent outside to open the flaps while the dryer is running
- Debris can be seen inside the dryer vent opening outside
- It takes longer than 35 to 40 minutes to dry a load of clothes
- The laundry room seems excessively hot while the dryer is running
- Unusually large amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap during drying cycles
- Lint and debris can be seen around the lint filter for the dryer
If your dryer vent system can’t exhaust properly, it will overheat, threatening your family’s health and safety as well as your home. If it’s been longer than 12 months since your dryer vents were professionally cleaned, call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling. It is best to have vents cleaned professionally and to schedule regular cleanings each year.
Our HVAC professionals specialize in cleaning duct work and dryer vents. We will clean the interior parts of your dryer efficiently, correctly and safely. We have the tools and training to remove all of the lint in the dryer ducts and vents completely.
Prevent clogged dryer vents that can lead to a devastating fire. Get professional dryer vent cleaning to save money on your electric bill and keep your family safe from fire. Call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling today at (630) 444-0860.
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