Do you need your dryer vent cleaned?
Cleaning your dryer exhaust duct is an important service. This is a service that is often overlooked and can cause water damage, possible fire hazard, health risk, higher electrical costs and even damage to your clothes dryer.
When a dryer duct becomes plugged you are more likely to experience moisture or water damage. This moisture or water may or may not be visible to you. We commonly retrieve 2-5 gallons of lint, and sometimes 1-3 gallons of water, from dryer ducts when we clean them.
Observing when your dryer vent needs to be cleaned:
Clothes (especially towels or jeans) take a long time to dry.
Clothes are hotter than usual at the end of the drying cycle.
Flapper on vent hood doesn’t open when dryer is on.
Reduced airflow and the resulting lint build-up cause overheating by preventing a fast-enough drying action. When this happens, the high temperature limit safety switch has to cycle on and off to control the heater. Most high temperature limit switches were never designed to cycle on and off continuously which can cause them to fail over a period of time.
Proper airflow venting can decrease drying time and decrease operating costs. Full airflow helps prevent the dryer from operating on its high temperature safety limit control. Vinyl and foil duct venting materials can easily collapse when installed. The use of proper venting materials to achieve maximum performance may also extend the life of the dryer and increase the life of clothing due to lower drying temperatures.
Reduced Maintenance and Energy Costs:
A key to effective dryer performance is optimal airflow. A properly installed all-metal dryer vent will help ensure this airflow. When clothes are given the appropriate amount of air, they dry quicker and are subject to less tumbling.
This results in less wear on the clothing and less use of electricity or gas. Failure to properly maintain your dryer ducts can cause damage to your clothes dryer and, at the very least, a waste of your valuable time waiting for your clothes to dry.
Safety and Fire Prevention:
Extreme buildup of lint in dryer vents is a fire hazard, Dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2006-2010.
Facts and figures
In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.
Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%.
The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.
Source: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Clothes Dryers and Washing Machines" report by John R. Hall, Jr., September 2012.