Despite being quite useful, it is also a significant fire hazard, if you don’t follow the necessary steps to keep it clean. The National Fire Protection Association states that each year fire departments in the United States respond to 15,970 home fires on average, due to clothes dryers. They are responsible for causing $238 million worth of property damage, 444 injuries, and 13 deaths. The most common items which ignite during the dryer fire are dust, lint, or fiber, clothing, and appliance casing or housing.
Importance of Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
The first question you will have in your mind is why should you take the time and effort to clean the dryer vent. Well, here are our top five reasons:
1 – To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
If you own a gas dryer, there is always the risk of suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, provided you don’t take the adequate measures to maintain this appliance. For example, if a bird builds a nest in the dryer vent or it is full of lint, the exhaust fumes are unable to escape from the equipment. As time goes on, these gases start to build up and spread throughout your household, increasing the chances of becoming a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.
2 – Your Clothes Last Longer
There are certain clothes in your wardrobe which mean the world to you because you wore them on special occasions. Due to this reason, you want to take utmost care of them, so that they last a long time. If you don’t remove dirt and debris from the dryer vent, it allows the heat to build up inside the appliance. Higher temperatures will damage your clothes, forcing you to discard them and pick up new ones from the retail store.
3 – Save on Energy Costs
As the clothes dryer accounts for a portion of your energy bills, it is vital you maintain this appliance properly. If there is a clog in the vents, it hampers the functionality significantly. With a decrease in efficiency, your clothes dryer has to work harder to remove the moisture from your garments. By drawing more power, you will notice an increase in your energy bills. With proper maintenance, you can reduce the bills, allowing you to save large sums of money in the long run.
4 – Increase the life of the dryer
When there is a restriction on the airflow in the dryer vent, the appliance has to work harder to eliminate heat and moisture. These types of problems are detrimental to this machine, as it decreases performance. By overworking the dryer on a regular basis, the appliance lifespan takes a significant hit. You may have to replace this device sooner than expected, which is a huge drain on your resources.
5 – Minimize fire risk
If you allow materials such as lint and fiber to accumulate in the vents, it can cause the dryer to overheat. There is a high chance of this appliance producing sparks, which ignite these materials and cause a fire. Not only will this damage your entire household, but it also puts your life in danger. With proper cleaning, you can minimize the chances of dryer fire from occurring.
When should you clean the dryer vent?
Once you understand the importance of maintaining the dryer vent, the next step is to identify when you should clean it. Here are five signs which indicate it is time you call a professional to take a look at this appliance:
1 – Appliance and environment is extremely hot
When you enter the room where your dryer is present, do you feel a huge change in temperature? If yes, it may be time you clean the appliance as soon as possible. The main reason is that there is an obstruction in the vent, which prevents the hot air from escaping efficiently.
2 – It takes longer to dry clothes
On average, the dryer should take at around anywhere between 30 – 40 minutes to remove the moisture from your clothes. However, if there is a blockage in the vent, the appliance will take approximately two or three times as long to do the same job.
The vents are responsible for removing the moist and hot air from the device, which allows it to pull significant amounts of dry air from the atmosphere. Also, if the clothes aren’t dry after a cycle, it is crucial you get in touch with professionals immediately.
3 – Lint near vent opening
The vent opening on the appliance allows the air from the device to leave your home. If you start observing debris, such as lint in this area, it is an indicator that you need to clean the dryer vent. Also, take a look at this part of the appliance to see if the flap moves when the device is on. If there is no movement, it is a sign of blockage or restriction in air flow.
4 – Observe a burning smell during operation
Do you notice a burning smell when you start operating the dryer? When lint gets stuck in the vent, the hot air from the device dries it out. When the appliance starts to function, the lint ignites due to the rise in temperature, which gives off the burning smell.
5 – You never cleaned the dryer vent
Have you ever cleaned the dryer vent after you acquired it from the retail store? If the answer is no, then you need to ask a professional to take a look at the appliance immediately.
Why should you let a professional do it?
Once you understand the importance of cleaning your dryer vent, you wonder why you should contact professionals. After all, there are several guides and videos online you can follow to complete this task. Here are two reasons to drive home the point on why you should let a professional handle dryer vent cleaning:
1 – Decreases the number of repairs
When there is an obstruction in the dryer vent, the appliance undergoes significant wear and tear over a short period. There is a high risk of the device suffering from a breakdown. While you can follow guides to fix the problems on this appliance, any mistake can cause significant damage. When you leave it in the hands of professionals, you never have to worry about these problems. They will use the right tools and high-quality materials, which increases the lifespan of the appliance. As a result, the number of repairs will come down considerably.
2 – Improves drying times
When the professionals get the opportunity to clean the dryer vent, you will observe massive improvement in the time taken to dry your clothes. They will ensure the appliance can remove the moisture-laden air from the device efficiently, which boosts performance. With an improvement in drying times, you will notice a reduction in your energy bills. In other words, you will save a lot of money, if you hire the services of professional dryer vent cleaners.
What to expect from dryer vent cleaning service?
After you get in touch with the professional cleaning service, the business will contact you before they arrive at your location. The team will give you a brief introduction on what will happen during the cleaning process. The professionals will ask questions, to get a complete idea of the situation. The next step is to analyze at the dryer vent to see its condition.
Depending on the situation, the professionals will give you an appropriate solution, before implementing it. The team will follow the right guidelines in accordance with the type of dryer you have in your household. They will make sure to clean every part of the appliance, to ensure maximum performance and safety. After the completion of the cleaning operation, you will receive an invoice from the business for the services rendered.
Safety tips while using dryer vent
It is essential you follow these safety tips, to ensure you get maximum performance from the dryer vent while protecting your property. For starters, it is critical you only use the appliance once it has a lint filter on it. After every use, you need to take a look at this accessory and remove all the debris you find in it.
Always follow the instructions from the manual during operation and avoid overloading the machine. There should be no obstructions in the exhaust pipe to avoid performance drops. Also, make sure you call professional dryer vent cleaning service at least once a year. However, you may have to contact them frequently to maintain your appliance, if there a lot of people living in your house.
As there are several advantages in hiring a professional dryer vent cleaner, you should always ask them to maintain your appliance. Keeping this device in good condition will prevent serious accidents from taking place, which protects your household and the lives of your family members.