As homeowners, we’re careful with all of our heating appliances. We don’t leave the toaster oven on or the curling iron plugged in, and we don’t leave space heaters running unattended or stove burners on when we’re not at home. We all know that these things are fire hazards, but the one heating appliance we don’t think of as a fire hazard is our clothes dryer.
The NFPA reports that 1 out of every 22 home structure fires originates with clothes dryers and washers, and that the leading cause of clothes dryer fires is a result of them not being cleaned. Dryer vents get clogged, even when the lint traps are cleaned after every load of laundry. This reduces the air flow from the dryer to the exhaust, causing the dryer to overheat. Lint is highly flammable, so it’s easy to put two and two together. Overheated dryer + flammable lint = fire.
Signs your vent needs to be cleaned:
- Clothes drying slowly
- Lint behind dryer
- Clothes/dryer feel too hot
- Heat element in dryer burns out
- Water spots on walls
- Carbon monoxide alarm going off
Watching for signs isn’t the only thing you should be doing. Regular preventive cleaning by a CSIA certified dryer vent technician will not only give you peace of mind by removing a fire hazard from your home, it will keep your dryer running more efficiently, saving you money. Our technicians will not only clean your vents, they will also ensure that your hoses are vented properly and aren’t releasing carbon monoxide into your home, as well as check to be sure your exhaust hose is up to current code standards.
If you have observed any of the signs above, schedule your dryer vent cleaning right away, otherwise, having it scheduled at the same time as your chimney inspection and cleaning is an easy way to remember this important maintenance.