The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

Most homeowners know how important it is to have their chimneys annually cleaned. However, few know that it is equally important to have their dryer vents regularly cleaned as well.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 15,000 house fires are caused by clogged dryer vents each year. These fires add up to more than $200 million in property damages, 400 injuries, and 50 tragic deaths. Lint and other debris can back up in the dryer vents and hoses, backing up the exhaust gasses from the dryer and creating a major fire hazard. Luckily, the risk of accidental dryer fire can be greatly reduced through regular maintenance and cleaning of dryer vents and hoses.

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How do clogged vents cause fires?

Removing the lint from the lint trap each time you run the dryer is often the only precaution homeowners take to prevent dryer fire. The same lint that accumulates in the lint trap, however, is also accumulating within the dryer vents. This accumulation gets worse over time, even getting to the point where it restricts air flow. When this occurs, the restricted vent system produces more heat, which can ignite the highly flammable lint. Because the collected lint and debris is so flammable, these fires often spread extremely quickly.

Why have dryer vents professionally cleaned?

To protect the health and safety of your family, it is important to have dryer vents regularly professionally cleaned. During a vent cleaning, vents are checked for lint buildup, kinked, knotted, or crushed hoses, or vent hose blockages. In addition, technicians are able to recommend ways to keep your dryer functioning at maximum efficiency.

At Mason’s Chimney Service, our technicians have a number of tools at their disposal to make sure that dryer vents are fully and completely cleaned. In addition to thoroughly cleaning the vent system, they can inspect the termination – or place where the venting system stops – to ensure it meets building codes and ends at the exterior of the home. Finally, they can install a LintAlert system to give homeowners additional peace of mind. This computerized sensor is specifically calibrated for your dryer’s performance and will alert you of any changes to airflow in the vents.

Signs it is time to clean your dryer vents

Even if you know that it is important to clean your dryer vents, many do not know when the appropriate time is to have them cleaned. There are several signs that homeowners should be aware of that may indicate it’s time to have your dryer vents cleaned.

  • Clothing takes longer than one full cycle to dry
  • The drying time for a single load is longer than 45 minutes
  • The room becomes excessively warm when the dryer is in use
  • Larger-than-normal amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap
  • An excessive, musty odor comes from the dryer or is noticed on clothes
  • There is noticeable debris within the outside dryer vent opening

If you notice any of these signs, it is time to have your dryer vents cleaned. Doing this will not only protect your family against accidental fire, but will also help your dryer run more efficiently. For all your dryer vent services, contact the experts at Mason’s Chimney Services today!