Has there ever been a time where your cleaning to-do lists have all been completed? We know that list is always growing. Cleaning the carpet, washing the sheets, deep cleaning the furniture, and so on. But the one thing you may have not thought about cleaning is your dryer vent. Yes, that’s right. Your dryer vent. Just like how your air ducts need cleaning, your dryer vents need to be cleaned too. The bigger question is, when is the right time to clean your dryer vent?
Why you should clean your dryer vents
We want to emphasize that cleaning your dryer vents is crucial for the safety of you and your family.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,820 house fires where dryers were involved, between 2014 and 2018. Yes, you read that right. Your dryer could be the one that could cause a house fire.
Lint is highly flammable and when it collects in your dryer vents, it will pose a serious fire hazard. If the air flow in your dryer vent is restricted, the exhaust gases get backed up. This created the perfect environment for a fire to form. Even worse, poisonous carbon monoxide can be released into your home.
Other then that information, clogged dryer vents can:
- Cost you more in energy bills. Dryers with excess lint use up to 30% more energy.
- Decrease the lifespan of your dryer. You will have to run your dryer more often in order to fully dry your clothes
- Invite animals to nest in your dryer vent. If you duct hood can’t close properly, this will provide an entrance for pests seeking warmth in the colder seasons.
Warning signs your dryer vent needs to be cleaned
If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your dryer vent, let alone by a professional here are some signs that it’s time:
- Your clothes aren’t drying. If you have to run your laundry in the dryer a few cycles for it to completely dry, chances are you have lint buildup. If you have buildup of lint it prevents the air from circulating.
- Your dryer is hot to the touch. If your dryer or clothes are a little too hot to the touch, during or at the end of the cycle, a blocked vent could be causing this overheating.
- Your laundry room feels hot or humid. The dryer vent is supposed to push the air outside your home. And if the air can’t be pushed out, then all that air has to go somewhere right? Meaning all that air is being leaked into your laundry room.
- You notice a musty smell. Once the hot air from your dryer leaks out into your laundry room this will also cause a musty smell. Or worse, a burning smell, if the lint has started a spark in the dryer. If you do smell burning, immediately turn off your dryer and call the professionals to take a look
- Your vent hood flap doesn’t open properly. If the duct hood flap isn’t opening the way it should, or you notice lint or debris around the dryer hose or outside vent opening, this means that the air flow has been restricted. And this air flow restriction can cause a dangerous buildup.
Benefits of hiring a specialist
If the warning signs and the house fire fact hasn’t convinced you to hire a specialist, we’re going to lay out some benefits. Cleaning your dryer vent should not be an option. It is a necessity.
- Reduce the risk of dryer fires. As we’ve already mentioned lint buildup can cause a spark in your dryer vent. If you want to reduce the risk of dryer fires in your home, have your dryer vent cleaned. No lint buildup, no fire spark. It’s as simple as that.
- Save energy. As your dryer vent collects more and more dust and debris over time, there is less room for air to be released. As a result, your dryer has to work harder and harder for it to stay operational.
The harder your dryer has to work the more energy that is being used. A dryer vent that is cleared will allow the air to travel freely, which will not place any strain on the dryer itself and require less energy. But seriously, think about the money you could save on your energy bills.
- Allow for faster drying times. The more lint your dryer vent collects the less efficient your dryer becomes. Meaning that you will have to run your laundry in the dryer a few times to get fully dried laundry. If your laundry doesn’t completely dry down you’re risking your clothes and bed sheets to develop a musty odor. If you don’t want to continuously dry your clothes for hours on end, hire a professional to clean your vent.
- Keep allergens at bay. One of the issues of having a dirty dryer vent, the water from the wet clothing gets trapped. The trapped water is a source for all types of allergens from dust to mold. Over time, these allergens will spread throughout your home. If you breathe that in, you could develop a cough, rash, congestion, and other allergy symptoms.
- Eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a gas dryer rather than an electrical one then you are at greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas dryers produce carbon monoxide. As you’re probably aware, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. If the dryer vents are clogged then the carbon monoxide could back up into the dryer and be released into your home.
When it comes to cleaning dryer vents we don’t want you to feel like it is a chore or an option. We want you to make it a necessity. You can protect yourself and those around you by getting your dryer vents checked and cleaned at least once a year. Your safety, your health, is our main priority, and it should be yours too.