Get Those Vents Cleaned
“Yeah, yeah, yeah—I’ll get it done,” you might say, “There are a million other things on my to-do list though—and dryer vents…well, they don’t rate very high on the list.”
Most homeowners try to take care of their appliances, especially the ones that heat. You know all about the fire hazards of leaving a heated stove or fireplace unattended, and not to leave the curling iron plugged in or the space heater running. Those things are dangerous, right? But you probably don’t think much about the appliance you leave running all the time—the clothes dryer. It’s easy to forget that the dryer needs maintenance, especially when your to-do list is a mile long and you’ve barely got time to throw the load from the washer into the dryer.
You might be surprised to hear that the NFPA reports 1 out of every 22 home structure fires to haves originated with clothes dryers and washers. In fact, the #1 cause of clothes dryer fires is that the vents weren’t cleaned. “Yeah, but I ALWAYS clean my lint trap out,” you say. Well, that’s good, but even though cleaning the lint trap will definitely give you more efficiency between cleanings, the vents still get clogged from buildup—even when the lint traps are cleaned after every load of laundry.
Lint buildup in the dryer hose reduces the air flow from the dryer to the exhaust, causing the dryer to overheat. Lint is highly flammable, so if it catches fire you’re in trouble. “But I’ve got one of those new dryers,” you say with a snort. Which is great, of course, because newer dryers are equipped with sensors to trigger shut-down if things get too hot. The problem is—that sensor can get worn down pretty fast if it’s being triggered constantly because of buildup. And we all know how much it costs to replace electronic parts…a lot.
Your dryer vent is telling you it’s time for a cleaning if:
- Clothes are drying slowly
- Lint is building up behind the dryer
- Clothes/dryer feel too hot
- Heat element in dryer burns out
- Water spots appear on nearby walls
- Carbon monoxide alarm goes off
If any of those signs opened up your eyes, here’s what you need to do:
Schedule a cleaning by an NFPA certified dryer vent technician, and keep up with it annually from now on. Even though cleaning vents is ‘old hat’ to us, we keep up on all the codes and certifications that give you the peace of mind that your home has been cleared of a fire hazard, not to mention the fact that we just made sure your dryer is saving you money by running more efficiently. So give us a call today to schedule your vent cleaning.