A 2012 fire safety report stated that there are an “estimated 16,800 reported U.S. home structure fires involving clothes dryers which resulted in 51 deaths, 380 civilian injuries, and $236 million dollars in direct property damage.” Of course, these are only reported statistics and the real number of dryer duct caused fires may be much higher because of the difficulty in locating where the fire started. Dryer vent cleaning
In this article, I am going to talk about dryer vent cleaning. I believe it is extremely important to clean your dryer duct every year. When I first started cleaning dryer vents, I came across a wide variety of problems. One house had live bird chicks living in the vent, another woman recently had a vent fire, another man had a gallon of water lodged in his vent. Yes, you heard me correctly, sometimes there is a massive amount of water in the flex vent because there is an airflow blockage.
If there is a possible problem with a dryer vent, I have most likely seen it and solved it. I have climbed dangerous roofs, have had minor cuts galore, breathed in more lint particles than my lungs know what to do with. But, it is always a satisfaction to solve such a pesky problem for homeowners. Homeowners who are drying their clothes at the local coin laundromat, taking three plus hours to dry one batch of clothes, and experiencing untold marital strife!
In this discussion on dryer vent cleaning, the three points that I will discuss are:
• Extending the Life of Your Dryer
• Drying Your Clothes Faster
• And Preventing Dryer Fires
One of the great things about having a clean dryer vent line is that it will extend the life of your dryer. Even only a half-inch build up of lint in a 4″ diameter vent line can increase the electrical power required to run your dryer by over 50%. Not only does this become an “energy hog” and increase your monthly power bill, but it also drastically reduces the life of your dryer. If you have ever been around a dryer that moves back and forth and rattles off the floor, this is caused by poor airflow and inefficiency. A common thing that Homeowners notice after a dryer duct cleaning is that it just runs so much smoother and quieter. In order to keep your dryer running smoothly, it is very important to clean your dryer vent line at least once a year.
Another fantastic benefit of dryer vent cleaning is that your clothes just dry much faster. I had one Homeowner contact me late at night amazed that she’s drying her clothes in 30 minutes with low heat instead of the 3+ hours at high heat it used to take her. Especially in our society with our busy lives, we sometimes just can’t afford to be waiting and babysitting a dryer for hours on end. And for Homeowners who leave their home during a dryer running, that indeed is a dangerous situation. Cleaning the dryer duct line once a year is required to keep your dryer in tip-top shape.
And the biggest and most serious reason to clean your dryer vent annually, is to prevent a devastating dryer lint fire. If you could peer inside a dryer vent when a fire starts, this is what you would see. First, a part of the vent line is totally clogged with lint. Since the heat has no where to go, the lint and the metal duct gets hotter and hotter. Soon, the lint will begin to become darker and more compressed until it actually starts to melt. Eventually, an ember will start and it will grow larger and larger until a flame begins. The fire spreads outwards towards the outside, and inwards towards the dryer. Then, the clothes in the dryer will catch on fire. After that, some of the wiring of the dryer will ignite and now there is an electrical fire — one of the worst fires you can have. This is why it is so important to clean your dryer duct annually.
In conclusion, there are numerous reasons to do an annual dryer vent cleaning. Whether it is done for extending the life of your dryer, drying your clothes faster, or preventing a serious fire… it is a worthy investment for peace of mind, saving money, and drying your clothes quickly.