Nowadays, most homes have a clothes dryer unit. Families use them for convenience and to save money. Unfortunately, if you do not properly maintain them, these units can cost more money to operate and repair. It can also put your family and home at risk for dangers such as a fire. When the dryer vent becomes clogged, this slows airflow through the ventilation duct and leads to an inefficient clothes dryer.
Many homeowners don’t take this danger seriously, but the professionals who handle residential house fires take it very seriously. Professionals who clean out these units sometimes find several cubic feet of flammable material inside. We want to keep our customers safe and aware of the dangers of clogged dryer vents.
The Danger of Dryer Vent Clogs
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are nearly 3,000 home clothes dryer fires each year. These fires have caused an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss each year. The main cause of the fires is the failure to clean the dryer vents. These fires were caused by a lint buildup inside the clothes dryer itself or the ventilation ductwork, and they are preventable with routine service and cleanings.
How Dryer Vent Buildup Occurs
- Improper installation
The clothes dryer requires professional installation to vent properly—especially if the dryer is in a basement area with a long distance to travel for ventilation outside. If your dryer vent was not professionally installed, then it may be dangerous and likely not code-compliant. Only a professional knows the exact minimum diameter for a vent, the distance it can safely cover, the type of dryer vent that is appropriate for your space, and the best products for the job.
- Improper use
The dryer runs smoother if it is properly maintained by the homeowner. Cleaning the lint trap after every dryer use is the best way to prevent a dangerous buildup. When the lint screen is clogged, the unit will not move air through the vent, so it doesn’t vent properly. This causes a buildup of both dangerous lint and heat. The unit should also be used to dry normal amounts of laundry, and you should never overfill or overwork it.
- Continued use when compromised
Many homeowners continue to use the clothes dryer unit even after it has problems. If clothes aren’t dry after one cycle, it is often attributed to an “old” unit, when in actuality there is likely a dangerous buildup. Running multiple cycles not only wastes energy and money but contributes to a dangerous dryer vent buildup and an early expiration of the unit.
Signs of a Dryer Vent Problem
If your dryer needs multiple cycles to get the job done and is less than 5 years old, it has a dryer vent problem. Other signs of a dryer vent buildup include:
- lint and condensation on surfaces of the home
- heat and moisture released into the home during dryer use
- excessively hot clothes are dryer unit after use
- very little lint on lint trap screen after a load of laundry
If you have any of the above signs of a dryer vent clog, call us today for a dryer vent cleaning.