Hand removing lint from fabric trapped on laundry dryer filter

Dryer Vent Fires – More Common Than You Think

Did you know that failing to clean and maintain dryer vents may account for thousands of annual house fires

Dryer vent fires are more common than you think and have resulted in millions of dollars of property damage, injuries, and the occasional death. 

We don’t mean to scare you but stress the importance of dryer vent cleaning to keep you and your family safe at home. For a comprehensive guide to home appliance safety and how to tell when it’s time to have your dryer vents cleaned, read on. 

What Causes Dryer Vent Fires? 

Like a chimney fire, a dryer vent fire is typically due to a lack of maintenance, proper airflow, and cleaning. When debris from day-to-day use accumulates in the machine, the heat can ignite the excess lint.  

The three most common culprits of a dryer vent fire are: 

  1. Lint
  2. Damaged hoses
  3. Animal nests

Lint is the main culprit for dryer vent fires. This happens when it makes its way into the heating unit. Because it is highly flammable, lint is ideal kindling for accidental fires. 

Damaged hoses can occur by accidentally pushing the appliance too far back into its space. This results in a blowback of lint and re-circulating air. 

Finally, animals seeking a dry, warm place to live often decide to stake a claim in the external venting. A clogged duct will result in a buildup with lint. The dangerous cycle continues. 

When Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?

If you are noticing any of the following signs, it’s time to take a second look at the condition of your dryer vent: 

  • Your clothing isn’t drying in one cycle
  • Your clothes smell burnt and musty after drying 
  • The room the dryer is in noticeably increases in temperature
  • There is visible debris in the dryer vent
  • You are paying more than usual on your energy bill 
  • There’s more lint in the lint trap than usual
  • Your clothes feel hot (not just warm) after drying
  • There is a burning smell in your laundry room
  • Used dryer sheets smell burnt or musty
  • The dryer feels hot when it’s running 

In the event of these deficiencies, give a professional team a call. It’s not worth the risk. 

Dryer Vent Maintenance 

The dryer vent cleaning process can be twofold–following through with daily maintenance and getting a professional to perform a deep-clean once a year. 

Wondering how to clean a dryer vent? Your responsibilities are simple:

  1. Check for animal or insect nests blocking the vent
  2. Check the lint filter in your dryer before and after running a load
  3. Make sure the dryer is plugged in properly 
  4. Check the vent pipe for lint

Once the professionals are on-site, they will remove the outside dryer covering. A vacuum is inserted into the opening, while a snake brush is used to clear any blockages. Because the corners and edges of the piping are too hard to reach for a typical homeowner, these tools will ensure the entire pathway is clear of debris. 

If necessary, they might perform a diagnostic test to make sure everything is working efficiently and undamaged. 

A professional will also make sure that the gas line is connected properly and free of deadly leaks.

What to Avoid 

During day-to-day use, there are some behaviors you should minimize or avoid to prevent dryer vent fires: 

  • Don’t put too many clothes in the dryer
  • Don’t run your dryer without a lint filter installed
  • Don’t run your dryer if the lint filter is loose or broken 
  • Don’t dry glass fiber material, foam, rubber, or plastic
  • Don’t dry items that have come into contact with alcohol, gasoline, or any cooking oil 
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions 

Finally, we highly recommend avoiding drying your laundry during the night or when you’re away from your home. While this may be slightly inconvenient, it is a small price to pay to avoid being surprised by a freak fire disaster. 

More Reasons to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Keeping your dryer vents clear of debris will do more than protect your household. It’s actually a practical way to take care of your appliance and keep it working as efficiently as possible. 

Minimize Dry Time

A dryer free of lint and debris is a dryer that can efficiently do its job. Nobody wants to have to run their clothing for multiple cycles! When the hot air is not reaching your items, it quickly becomes a waste of time and energy. 

Lower Utility Bills

A dryer that is unable to run efficiently will demand additional heat to complete the job. As your electricity bill skyrockets to compensate for the energy used to power the appliance, you might think twice about ignoring the recommended maintenance. 

Prevent Mold

A clear dryer vent will effectively keep your appliance and home free of moisture. If lint finds wet portions of the exhaust tube, mold can begin to grow and thrive. 

This, as we know, is an invitation for an unhealthy home disaster. 

Protect Your Investment 

The average dryer costs a homeowner over $1,000. Properly caring for your investment will ensure that it will run efficiently for years. 

Get the Help You Need

While this may seem like an unlikely tragedy, dryer vent fires are serious and highly possible if you do not take the proper precautions. Don’t let your household become another disaster statistic. 

While dryer maintenance should be a consideration each time, you dry a load of laundry, annual servicing by a professional is highly recommended.  

We are experienced in the task of annual dryer vent cleaning. Keep debris from building up and impacting your most prized possessions. Get in touch today, and request a quote through our convenient form

 

air ducts

Why Air Duct Cleaning Benefits Your Health

Did you know that most of the toxins we breathe in every day come from inside our homes?

That’s right. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outdoors.

Since we spend about 90% of our time indoors, that’s a scary thought.

But we can be proactive in keeping the air in our homes fresh and clean. Via air duct cleaning!

Air duct cleaning benefits are many. And the job doesn’t take long to do.

Read on, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about air duct cleaning.

What Do Air Ducts Do Anyway?

In homes with central heat and air, the air ducts are the passages through the house. They provide channels for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This system is commonly referred to as HVAC.

The ducts have an essential job. They deliver and remove air from the rooms in your home. When the air is pulled out of rooms, it’s conditioned before reentry. The air cycles through the ducts multiple times every day.

If systems are in peak condition, this cycle ensures comfortable temperatures and fresh air. At least, in most cases.

If you have dirty ducts, that’s another story. If left untreated, problems in your HVAC unit can lead to problems in your home.

Air Duct Cleaning Benefits

Cleaning dirty ducts is a simple and affordable procedure. Licensed professionals will come in with their tools and remove all traces of dust and contaminants in your ductwork.

When the cleaning happens on an annual basis, it can have many benefits.

What follows are a few of the most notable benefits.

Cleaner Living Space

Do you feel like your home is always dusty? Does it feel as though you spend hours cleaning, but you can’t keep up with the level of dust on your surfaces?

If so, your air ducts may require a cleaning.

Air duct cleaning can significantly reduce the amount of dust that may be in your ductwork. The process effectively eliminates excess dust from circulating the air. Less dust circulating means less dust landing on your furniture.

All of which means less cleaning for you. That alone should make everyone happy.

Reduce Allergens

Does anyone in your family have allergies? Perhaps someone has asthma or other respiratory problems?

One thing you can do to help them is to keep your ductwork clean. In so doing, you’ll reduce the number of allergens and irritants circulating in your system.

By reducing the allergens in the air, you’re helping those afflicted with such problems breathe a little better.

Some of the nasty microorganisms that can make themselves at home in your air ducts include:

  • pet dander
  • mildew
  • pollen
  • bacteria

Periodically cleaning out your air ducts will give them the boot. Promoting healthier living for all.

Breathe Easy

Even if you don’t have anyone with respiratory issues living at home, you can still benefit from an air duct cleaning.

Even the most healthy people can suffer from dirty ducts. Possible health effects that are associated with indoor air pollution include:

  • irritation of mucus membranes
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

Air duct cleaning helps establish a comfortable environment year-round.

Remove Odors

Many things can cause lingering odors in the home. Such as:

  • pets
  • household cleaners
  • mold
  • tobacco use indoors
  • food preparation

Every time you run your AC unit, you may catch a whiff of these things. That’s because the air will keep circulating the odor molecules that are in the ductwork.

Fear not; air duct cleaning can help manage any malodors you may have in the home. You’ll feel like you’re living in a Febreeze commercial in no time.

More Efficient Airflow

Better efficiency is always desirable. The need for maximum efficiency is especially true when it comes to home appliances.

Dirty ducts and registers can develop heavy build-ups. Things like dust, grime, and other undesirables. This build-up can restrict the flow of air through the system.

Restricted airflow is bad news all around. Your system will have to work twice as hard to heat, cool, and move air through the ductwork.

On the flip side, a clean duct system will give you the most efficient performance. More bang for your buck, if you will.

Fire Safety

Beyond the sights and smells of dirty ducts, one other issue arises. And that’s fire safety.

Dryer vents that have build-up in them can easily cause fires. The National Fire Protection Association cites clogged dryer vents as the cause of nearly 17,000 home fires each year.

These fires cause around $236 million in property loss, not to mention death and bodily injuries. Cleaning your ductwork can help keep your family safe.

Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

How do you know when you need to have your air ducts cleaned?

That’s hard to say. The conditions in every home are unique, so you’ll need to use your best judgment.

If you have family members with respiratory conditions or allergies, regular air duct cleaning can be beneficial.

Additionally, if you notice any of the following, you may benefit from cleaning your air ducts:

  • visible dust or debris in registers
  • visible mold or mold-like substances
  • persistent bad smells
  • heavy levels of dust on surfaces
  • infestation of vermin in the ductwork

On the topic of mold, many parts of your ductwork won’t be visible to you. For that matter, they aren’t easily accessible without the right tools. If you suspect you have a mold issue, you’ll want to have professionals come in to confirm.

HVAC cleaners can quickly assess areas in your ductwork that have mold or mildew problems with the right tools.

If it turns out that your insulation has gotten wet or moldy, there is no way to treat it. If that is the case, any affected insulation will have to be removed and replaced.

Banish Dirty Ducts; Call Six Penny!

There are many air duct cleaning benefits that you may not have thought about before.

A good air duct cleaning service will check all the boxes. From getting rid of any vermin to having better indoor air quality.

We hope that you’ll consider our family-owned business to help meet your air duct cleaning needs.

We’ve been in business cleaning air ducts and chimneys since 1980. It’s our high-quality service that has kept us around and kept our clients happy.

But don’t take our word for it. If you think you’re ready to clean those dirty ducts, please reach out for a free quote. We can’t wait to exceed your expectations.