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Dryer Vents Can Be A Real Fire Hazard!

Laundry is a part of life, but did you know that dryers cause roughly 2,900 home structure fires, 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in direct property loss each year? What’s more, the majority of dryer fires happen in the fall and winter months, with the peak being in January. The most common cause of dryer fires is failure to do a thorough cleaning. Because a lint trap is not a foolproof method for catching all the fuzzy stuff in your dryer, lint can gradually build up and catch fire in the heating element or exhaust duct. Many people are under the impression that cleaning these vents isn’t all that important. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Price Of Lint Buildup

Clogged dryer vents are an accident waiting to happen. A partially obstructed vent filled with lint can cause increased drying times and waste energy, while a blocked vent can lead to a fire. There are numerous warning signs that may indicate that you have a dirty dryer vent:

  • your clothes are still damp after a complete drying cycle
  • there is excessive heat buildup in your laundry room
  • and/or your dryer is used frequently.

One of the ways—perhaps the best way—to decrease the chances of a dryer fire in your home is to simply clean your lint trap before or after every laundry load of clothes. But, as mentioned above, that won’t completely eliminate your risk.

Aside from the inherent danger of fire, buildup of dirt and lint in the dryer vent can also significantly increase your energy consumption, thereby costing you more money. The increased energy usage is due in large part to your dryer taking more time to dry your clothes because of the blockage; it has to work twice as hard to accomplish the same amount of work. Possible signs that a dirty or clogged dryer vent may be to blame include:

  • your dryer no longer dries the clothes in one cycle
  • your clothes carry a musty smell after a full drying cycle
  • your dryer seems to run hotter than normal
  • a visible amount of lint is noticed around the lint filter
  • and debris is noticed within the dryer vent opening on the outside of your home.

You Can’t Afford To Not Clean Your Dryer Vents 

To avoid this potentially dangerous buildup in your vents, following a predetermined maintenance schedule is important. The majority of dryer vents need to be cleaned at least once a year; some dryer ducts need more frequent attention while others need less. Some determining factors include:

  • the number of people who are using the same dryer
  • the age and condition of the dryer
  • and the length of your dryer vent.

The best way to ensure dryer safety is to clean the lint screen after every use and to have your vent and duct cleaned regularly. In fact, studies prove that effective cleaning of dryer vents and lint screens can reduce the chances of fire by as much as 90%. Not only does vent cleaning help prevent house fires, it also will make sure your clothes are dry and smell nice after each use.

Schedule Your Cleaning Today

Lint builds up in your dryer vent each time you run your dryer. How long has it been since you had a full vent cleaning? Call Olde Town Chimney Sweeps or click here to schedule an inspection and cleaning of your dryer vents today!


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