Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning
When the weather gets bad and you can’t hang clothes out to dry, a clothes dryer can be one of the most helpful appliances you own. However, using a clothes dryer comes with its risks. If you don’t clean your dryer vent often, your clothes dryer can be a fire hazard in your home. To ensure your clothes dryer is safe to use, you should try to clean your dryer vent regularly.
Why Cleaning Your Dryer Vent is Important
Keeping your dryer vent clean prevents a house fire. That’s because lint (which is small fibers that come off your clothes every time you dry a load of laundry) accumulates in the dryer vent. When you don’t clean the lint out of your dryer vent, it can easily catch fire.
According to statistics, approximately 15,600 household fires, 400 injuries and 15 deaths are caused by dryer vent fires each year. In 1996, a report by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 15,000 household fires caused by dryers. According to the report, the fires resulted in 20 deaths, more than 300 injuries and more than $80 million fire damage.
But while preventing a house fire is arguably the best benefit of cleaning your dryer vent, there are multiple reasons why you should keep your dryer vent clean during months when you’re often using your tumble dryer.
Save on your energy bill
When your dryer vent is full of lint particles, humid air doesn’t travel down the vent as efficiently. Because of this, it will take longer to dry your clothes, and the longer you run your tumble dryer every month, the higher your energy bill will be.
Dry clothes more efficiently
As mentioned, a dirty dryer vent can cause your clothes to take longer to dry, meaning you’ll save time on drying clothes when your dryer vent is clean. However, in cases where the dryer vent has an exceptional amount of lint buildup, you might even find that your tumble dryer doesn’t dry clothes completely.
Protect your tumble dryer
When your dryer vent is blocked with lint, your tumble dryer will be more prone to overheating. This can cause it to burn out more quickly, and generally just isn’t good for your dryer.
Protect your clothes
A dryer vent that’s blocked with lint can cause problems with your clothes. If your tumble dryer constantly overheats, this could lead to heat damage on more delicate fabrics, for instance.
Much like any other cleaning and home maintenance, cleaning your dryer vent is part of what you need to do to keep your home safe and clean.
Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning
If you’re not sure whether or not your dryer vent needs cleaning, there are some signs you can look for, these include:
- The laundry room gets very hot while you’re using the dryer.
- Clothing doesn’t dry within a normal dry cycle.
- Lint is visible around the around the dryer’s lint filter.
- The outside of the dryer gets very hot when it’s being used.
- There’s a lot of lint and debris in the laundry room, especially when the dryer is being used, there’s lint particles floating in the air.
- The outside dryer vent opening has visible debris buildup.
- Clothing is very hot after a dry cycle, perhaps even burning a bit if you remove it from the dryer directly after a cycle is finished.
While all of the above mentioned things could indicate that you need to have a dryer vent cleaning, you shouldn’t leave your dryer vent if it’s been more than a year since you last had it cleaned. If you can’t remember the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned, booking a dryer vent cleaning as soon as possible is recommended.
How to Clean Your Dryer Vent
You can clean your dryer vent yourself on a regular basis if you’re up to it. While you might not have all the necessary tools to clean your dryer vent professionally, cleaning the vent yourself from time is a good way of getting rid of most of the lint that’s trapped in the dryer vent. When cleaning your dryer vent yourself, you can also check for bird or squirrel nests near the vent opening outside. Unfortunately squirrels have a tendency to make nests in dryer vent openings, so it’s a good idea to check this area regularly.
If you’re unsure about how to clean your dryer vent yourself, it’s always best to call in a professional. Many people aren’t sure how to disconnect the dryer duct and reassemble the ductwork, but it’s important that every step is done correctly to ensure your dryer functions properly. But even if you are capable of cleaning the dryer vent yourself, it’s still good to call in a professional to clean the duct at least once a year.
Need a professional dryer vent cleaning? Call Chimney Sweeps West to keep your home safe from dryer vent fires.