Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dryer vent cleaning is an important home maintenance item that is often overlooked.  If you are finding that your dryer is taking an extended amount of time to dry a load of laundry, or your dryer is turning off and on intermittently it may be time to clean your dryer vent. A full load of laundry typically holds a half gallon of water, as water is removed in the drying process, water and lint are exhausted through the dryer vent exhaust.  Overtime, with each load of laundry,  lint build within the walls of the dryer vent exhaust.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Prevents Damages to Clothes

Dryers vents that are congested with dryer lint operate for a longer period of time to dry clothing.  Extended drying times and exposure to heat cause premature wear and tear on clothing.  Keeping the dryer vent clean will lesson operating time and prevent damage to clothing articles.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Maintains Energy Efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, it is important to keep the lint trap and dryer vent cleaned, as dryers consume a high amount of energy within the home.   Gas dryers consume an average of 1,889 gallons of gas each year and electric dryers consume an average of 44,382 watts of electricity each year.   A clogged exhaust lengthens drying time and dramatically increases energy use.

Dryer Vent Fire Hazard

Lack of maintenance is the leading cause of dryer fires, lint is extremely flammable. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.

Dryer Vent Maintenance & Tips:
  1. Inspect the Type of Air Duct Attached to the Dryer:  Dryers connect to the the dryer vent exhaust line though a short transitional piece of air duct.  Inspect to see that the line is not bent or crimped in a manner that would impede air flow.  If this transitional piece is made of either flexible foil or flexible plastic, remove and replace the air duct with a rigid metal dyer vent or a flexible metal dryer vent. Flexible plastic or foil type duct can more easily trap lint and is more susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the airflow.
  2. Inspect the Dryer Exhaust Exit: Annually inspect the dryer vent exhaust exit for blockage, the dryer vent exhaust exit must be unobstructed.  Make sure that there are no items place over the vent, and inspect the dryer vent exhaust exit for nests.
  3. Clean the lint trap before or after each load of laundry: Lint traps are the first line of defense for dryer vent exhausts, clear the lint trap before or after each load of laundry as it will lessen the amount of lint entering the dryer vent.
  4. Frequency of Dryer Vent Cleanings: While the frequency of dryer vent cleanings is related to the number of loads of laundry ran through the dryer, it can also be related to a poorly constructed dryer vent exhaust.  If the dryer vent has too many bends, our has extended lengths of ducting it can cause debris to build prematurely.  If you believe that your dryer vent has been poorly constructed, contact an HVAC contractor to explore alternative options.
  5. Never leave the home when the dryer is in operation: Because of the potential fire hazard, never leave the home when the dryer is in operation.

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