Picture above taken from a clients Dryer vent. Names and places have been changed to protect the innocent......I think they where trying to grow a new friend.
O.K gang, as promised here is post number 2 for January. And to be honest, I couldn't think of a more fitting time to write about this months topic.
Signs your Dryer vents need cleaning.
Now not to scare anyone, but imagine waking up to a house fire......and then to find out later that it could have been prevented. The culprit: Your clothes dryer!
According to the National Fire Prevention association, the common Clothes dryer was the cause of more than 18,500 home fires in 2015. Yikes.
Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer hose and vent ducting, this in turn reduces air flow, backing up exhaust gases and eventually creates the right conditions for a fire. The good news is, these hazards can be avoided by thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your dryer vent each and every year. (This is particularly true if your dryer vent duct was not designed or installed properly.) Not only are you reducing the risk of fire, but you are also putting money back into your pocket by improving the dryer’s efficiency. The venting system of your dryer is the appliances lungs, if it cant breath properly, it is going to work harder to achieve the same result as a properly vented and maintained system. This in turn ends up costing you more money....trust me, that's bad.
So how do you know if your dryer vent system is a ticking “time bomb”? well apart from the obvious... standing amongst the rubble of your former home, asking your spouse " honey...Did we get our Dryer vent cleaned this year" I am pleased to announce, their is an easier and much more pro active approach you can take. Simply check out our list below.
5 Signs that it’s Time to Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vent.
1. Drying time for clothes takes longer and longer.
When a dryer vent is clogged, the drying cycle can double or triple in time. You’ll notice that clothes are not completely dry at the end of a regular cycle. A dryer is designed to push out the hot damp air for clothing to dry. If your vent is blocked by lint or foreign objects, the air will stay in your dryer keeping your clothes hot and damp. causing extended drying times. This in turn puts more wear and tear on your dryer potentially cutting the machine’s life in half.
2. Your clothing and the outside of the dryer get very hot.
Do you notice that your clothing is very hot at the end of a cycle, or the dryer is hot to the touch? This warning sign means the vent is not exhausting properly. If your system is clogged, it not only wastes energy, but can cause the heating element, blower and other components in the dryer to wear out prematurely.....Bottom line, your Dryer should not be hotter than Satan's underpants... Period.
3. You notice a burning smell.
When you run your dryer do you smell burning? Lint, which is very flammable, (Makes great tinder for campfires) can build up in the exhaust tube, lint trap and even in the drum casing. If it gets too hot, it can catch fire, causing a burning smell. (Remember to empty the lint trap often). Discontinue use of your dryer and have it inspected as soon as possible.
4. The vent hood flap doesn’t open properly.
.Another visual red flag that you’re due for a cleaning: You can see lint or debris around the dryer hose or outside vent opening: This is also true if the duct hood flap does not open as it is designed to do. An outside vent that doesn’t open when the dryer is running means air flow has been restricted due to lint buildup or worse... In the case of broken or missing Outside vent cover you could have animals living inside your vent ducting. This is especially true in winter, when critters are looking for somewhere warm and dry to call home.
5. It’s been longer than a year since your last inspection.
Dryer vent ducts should be inspected at least once a year to reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you hire a professional to clean your vent, expect prices to vary depending on the length and location of the vent. If the exterior exhaust vent is easily accessible, you can try cleaning it yourself with a brush kit. These can be purchased from most major hardware stores.
If you’ve tried cleaning your vent system and still have the above issues, then it could mean you need to have your vent rebuilt or repaired. Lint should not build up in your dryer if your duct system is properly designed and installed. If you haven’t had your system inspected and cleaned for several years, be proactive and get it done today!
Hi My Name is Bruce Kenny and I am the owner and founder of Britannia Home Services. I am married with 3 kids and reside in Naperville Illinois.