The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

Did you know that a hidden menace in your home is your dryer? According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1998, 15,600 fires began because of dryers. This resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. Ignoring a few small but important maintainence tasks can lead to a damaging fire is still unknown to many.

Did you know that you should clean your lint screen before and after each and every use? The lint that builds up on the screen can ignite. Lint can also accumulate behind the dryer. Cleaning behind the dryer and keeping the area surrounding the dryer clear at all times is of utmost importance.

Outside exhaust vents should be cleaned periodically to ensure that they are not blocked. Checking these vents for blockages should be done while the dryer is operating. If the air flow is weak, there is probably a blockage that needs to be cleared. This is accomplished by disconnecting the vent from the opening and removing the lint blockage. Be sure to reconnect the vent before using the dryer again.

Accordian plastic or foil ducts should be replaced by semi-rigid metal ducts. The chance of more lint being trapped in the accordian-like structure is greatly increased because of the shape of the duct as the heat builds up inside.

Inside of the chasis of the dryer also gathers lint and creates a fire hazzard. This should be cleaned by a professional on a regular basis. Heavier use of the dryer requires that this process be implemented more often than a lesser used dryer.

When drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile substances such as gasoline or oil, it is strongly suggested that you wash them more than once and remove them immediately once the dryer cycle has ended. It is also suggested that you dry such clothes on a lower heat setting to further avoid the possibility of a fire.

The importance of knowing about cleaning dryer vents and checking often should not be ignored. Be sure to tell everyone you know. You may be saving a life.

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Filed under: Dryer Vent Cleaning

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