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Dryer Vent Cleaning

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» Cleaning Services
» Electrical
» Home Improvement


Overview

Published: 03/14/2018 by Home Pros Guide

Photos

Every year more than 2,900 home fires are started by clothes dryers, and the leading cause of these fires is a buildup of lint due to lack of simple maintenance.  Each load of laundry that passes through your washing machine and makes its way to your clothes dryer contains lint—mostly small particles of cloth and fiber that are loosened from clothing by the action of agitating water.

The problem is that not all of the lint is caught by the removable lint filter, but the lint that passes beyond the filter and is trapped deep inside the lint filter trap and all along the dryer vent hose or duct as it makes its way to the outside vent opening.

Warning Signs

Here are some warning signs that dangerous lint buildup has occurred in your dryer and venting system, indicating that it needs a thorough cleaning: 

Clothes take longer to dry or don't dry fully

Clothes are hotter than normal at the end of the drying cycle

Outside of dryer gets very hotOutside exhaust vent flapper does not open very much, indicating low exhaust velocity

Laundry room becomes more humid than usualBurnt smell is evident in the laundry room.

Never

Service the dryer yourself, including cleaning of the chassis. Always call a professional.

Put synthetic material such as rubber, plastic, foam, or pieces of cloth used to sponge up flammable liquids (previously washed or not), in the dryer.

Try to clean the dryer vents yourself without first verifying the material it is made out of - cleaning the wrong type of vent could make the problem worse.

Additional Considerations and Safety Measures

Make sure your clothes dryer is plugged into an outlet suitable for its needs.

You have a smoke alarm installed in the laundry room.

Your dryer is turned off when you are sleeping or have left the house.

Install a vent box for extra security

A free flow of air down your duct is vital for the smooth operation of the system. Kinks in the ducting can cause a build-up of lint, leading to a total blockage or, even worse, a fire.

Dryer exhaust vents should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year depending on the size of the household and dryer usage.