Tag Archive for: dryer vent cleaning

White washer and dryer in unfinished basement laundry room

The Importance of a Clean Dryer Vent

With the continuous advancement in technology, dryers have become a significant part of most households, drying bedding, linens, and clothes. A typical residential dryer works two to ten times a week.

After regular use, the dryer vent, a tube running from the dryer to outside your home that removes moisture and hot air, will accumulate lint and debris, which could lead to clogging and other complications. This post discusses the importance of cleaning your dryer vent.

Why You Need to Clean Your Dryer Vent 

Keeps Clothes Looking Good Longer

Whenever you load clothes in the dryer, they lose a tiny fraction of their quality as the extra heat will deteriorate fibers within the clothes, slightly stretching them.

You can do little to counter the process since clothes eventually wear out. However, you can slow it down by regularly cleaning the dryer vent.

A dirty, clogged vent will make your dryer inefficient, as it will have to run longer to remove all the water altogether. So when you use the machine, it will subject your clothes to prolonged wear and tear, reducing their quality.

Lower the Risk of Dryer Fires 

Lint, which regularly accumulates inside dryer vents, is highly flammable and can easily cause a massive house fire. 

A National Fire Protection Association report states that clothes dryers account for an estimated 15970 house fires yearly. Also, up to 80% of the fires are caused by clogged dryer vents. 

By clearing all the debris and lint build-up in the dryer vent, you ensure there is nothing to spark fires that can cause severe damage.

Save Energy

While working, dryer vents will collect dust and debris. When the debris accumulates, it occupies more space in the vent, leaving little room for air and heat to pass through. 

Consequently, your dryer will have to work harder to complete its tasks, consuming more energy, which means a higher electricity bill.

You can significantly reduce your power costs by cleaning the dryer vent. An open vent provides enough space for hot air and moisture to move freely, placing zero pressure on the appliance.

Lessen Wear and Tear on Your Appliance

Regularly cleaning your dryer vent increases the lifespan of your machine. When there are alot of obstructions, lint, and other particles stuck inside your vent, they strain parts of the dryer by causing faster wear and tear.

In some instances, the particles can block the vent entirely and lead to fires since the hot air won’t have an outlet to pass through.

Also, the cleaning will reduce the money spent on repairs, as the machine will run optimistically longer.

Keep Allergens at Bay

A significant downside of a dirty or clogged dryer vent is that it captures water flowing from the wet clothes. Over time, the water accumulates various allergens, such as dust, mold, and more.

Unfortunately, these allergens will spread from the vent to other parts of your home, and inhaling them could make you develop a cough, congestion, or rash. The condition can be detrimental, especially for persons with respiratory challenges.

Avoid the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

There are electric and gas dryers; if you use the latter, a clogged vent could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

While working, gas dryers produce small amounts of carbon monoxide, which gets passed out through the dryer vent. However, a clogged vent means the toxic gas could flow back through the pipe into the house, creating a hazardous environment for you and your family.

Once in the body, excess carbon monoxide will deprive vital organs of oxygen, cause loss of consciousness, and lead to death through suffocation.

Ensuring your dryer vent is clean prevents such incidents as the air will flow smoothly.

Enables Faster Drying Times

The more lint and other materials accumulate inside the vent, the less air it can pass. This means it will take the machine longer to dry clothes, for the clogging can prevent bedding and clothes from drying thoroughly after one cycle, forcing you to repeat the process. 

On the other hand, a clean dryer vent will let out the heat and moisture faster, thereby drying your clothes faster.

How Often Should You Clean the Dryer Vent?

We recommend cleaning once a year for a household with two or five people. But you can schedule cleaning every six months if you have a large family, eight or more people.

Get Your Dryer Vents Professionally Cleaned in Northern, VA

Are you in Northern Virginia, Looking for a professional to handle your dryer vent, chimney, and gutter cleaning? Sixpenny Chimney has been doing so for years and has mastered the art. Contact us for a quote today.

How to Prevent Dryer Vent Clogging and Potential Fire Hazards

Sometimes, it’s the most innocuous things that can spell disaster for households. One of these is the humble air dryer, a commonplace piece of laundry equipment in millions of homes. Across the U.S., more than 15,000 fires a year have been said to be caused by laundry dryers. Most of these fires are attributed to poor dryer vent cleaning. See how to prevent dryer vent clogging (and potential fire hazards) and keep your home safe.

Why Do Laundry Clothes Dryers Catch Fire?

Laundry dryers move and roll wet clothes around inside a dryer drum like the action of a washing machine. However, instead of water, air is drawn into the equipment through vents located on the outside of the machine. Heated and blown through the dryer by fan action, hot air soon dries out the clothing items. During the drying cycle, air continuously flows into the machine, is blown through a lint screen, and vented outside through a rear duct.

Lint, dirt, and fibers are forced from the clothes during the drying process due to the tumbling action and the blowing hot air. As a result, grime and material specks build up within the lint trap and the rear vent duct and, when dry, are highly flammable. As debris builds up, it clogs up the vents, reducing airflow. At best, this buildup slows the time to dry clothes properly. At worst, overheating of the dryer can occur with the lint sparking a fire.

While there are variations, for example, there are ventless dryers, overall, this is the process resulting in a very high percentage of home fires.

How Often Should You Clean the Clothes Dryer?

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) provides some startling statistics, showing that up to 92% of home fires have been associated with clothes dryers. Furthermore, the leading cause of these fires has been identified as inadequate dryer vent cleaning.

So how often should the dryer be cleaned? According to Consumer Reports, a non-profit organization that provides independent product reviews, there are two cleaning tasks with dryers:

  1. Clean the lint filter after every clothes load is finished, and
  2. Clean the vents and the rear exhaust duct at least once a year.

Aside from preventing fires, regular maintenance cleaning will minimize clothes drying time and subsequently keep your energy costs lower. 

How to Properly Carry Out Dryer Vent Cleaning

Cleaning the rear exhaust duct thoroughly every year can be a little tricky due to the location. First, after disconnecting the power, the dryer usually must be moved away from the wall. Next, you must manually disconnect the duct from the back of the machine and then use a vacuum to remove as much lint and debris as possible. Finally, you must reconnect the duct, tighten the clamps or other fasteners, and move the dryer back against the wall.

Contact your local service provider if it looks like you’ll need help with dryer vent cleaning.

Some Tips for Preventing Dryer Fires

Aside from regular cleaning, here are a few extra tips to help reduce the odds of a dryer fire in your laundry.

  1.     If you have to go out, don’t leave the dryer on at home while you’re gone. Many dryer fires have happened when the owner has stepped out, causing significant damage before being noticed.
  2.     Never place clothing items that contain plastic or rubber pieces in the dryer. These substances can melt in the heat of the machine and combust.
  3.     Keep drying loads within recommended limits. Overloading dryers puts strain on the motor and may cause overheating.
  4.     Ensure the dryer vents are kept clear of items that may restrict airflow. Again, this may cause overheating and a potential fire to start.
  5.     Pay attention to any burnt smells coming from the dryer when it’s operating. The motor may have overheated, or lint be in a state ready to combust.
  6.     Be extra careful with any clothing soiled with flammable elements, such as gasoline, grease, or oil. It’s best to wash these a couple of times if necessary and hang them on a line to dry. These are substances you don’t want to get into the dryer.

Expert Dryer Vent Cleaning in North Virginia

At Six Penny Chimney, we provide the highest quality cleaning services for chimneys, fireplaces, and clothes dryers. So, if you haven’t checked the dryer lint trap or exhaust duct for some time, it’s probably time to call us in. If you reside in North Virginia, let us give you a free no-obligation quote on our cleaning services.