So, you have been noticing that it is now taking longer to dry your clothes. And perhaps you have received a postcard in the mail from a company offering to clean your clothes dryer vents. Like many people, you are also perhaps wondering if dryer vent cleaning is really necessary.
According to a June 2003 Consumer Product Safety Commission report*, in 1998 clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. The article goes on to explain that fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.
Dryer vents are one of those “hidden” maintenance items that is often forgotten. The old adage; “out of sight, out of mind” really holds true when it comes to cleaning dryer ducts. Unfortunately, neglecting this area of your home can produce harmful and in some instances, even fatal results.
A restricted vent from your clothes dryer extends dryer run time, requiring more energy (your hard earned money) and can be an extreme fire hazard. Because so many homes burn each year due to dryer vent fires, it is recommended your clothes dryer venting be cleaned annually.
Some clothes dryers have vents which are readily accessible while others have long duct runs where moisture condenses and creates restriction. Still other dryer vents have sharp turns and twists or use flexible ducting which further restricts air-flow.
It is also extremely important to keep the lint screen clean after every load of clothes and that only aluminum ductwork is used to vent heat and moisture away from the dryer.
Annual clothes dryer vent cleaning, keeping your lint screen clean, and having short, straight, ductwork will help ensure the safety of your household. Using only aluminum ducting will further help prevent overheating and will add to your family’s safety.