In the year 2010, approximately 16,800 house fires involving clothes dryers were reported in the United States, and these fires were responsible for 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The leading cause behind these fires is the failure to clean clothes dryer vents. The NFPA, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and other fire prevention safety organizations recommend that you have your dryer vent system professionally cleaned annually by an experienced dryer exhaust technician, such as one of our technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps. We would like to share with you some clothes dryer vent safety tips and other information to help you prevent a house fire started by your clothes dryer.
Clothes Dryer Safety Tips
The NFPA released a dryer safety tip brochure to inform the public about what they should do to keep their clothes dryers safe. The tips include the following:
- Always have your clothes dryer professionally installed and serviced.
- Never use your dryer without the lint filter.
- Always clean the lint filter before or after every load you dry. Also, remove any lint that has collected around the dryer’s drum.
- To keep the best air flow and drying time, rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used.
- Be sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not clogged or restricted, and the outdoor vent flap opens when the dryer is in use. The Weststar Chimney Sweeps technician will clean the outdoor vent pipe during the annual cleaning.
- If you have a gas-operated dryer, it should be inspected by a certified professional to ensure the gas line and connection are secure and have no leaks.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
- Never overload your dryer.
- Do not leave your dryer running if you leave your home or when you go to sleep.
- Your dryer should be grounded correctly.
- If it snows, be sure to check the outdoor vent flap to see if it is covered in snow.
- Keep the area around your dryer clear from anything that could burn like boxes,clothes, and cleaning supplies.
Why You Should Have a Professional Cleaning of Your Dryer Venting System Every Year
Our experienced technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps will inspect, clean, and verify that your clothes dryer’s venting system is sized and installed correctly. These annual inspections will prolong the life of your clothes dryer as well as increase its efficiency.
If you need to schedule a dryer vent cleaning, contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today. Our expert technicians will be sure your dryer vents are not a fire hazard.
It’s very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the built up lint is a fire hazard that endangers your house and everyone in it. Call Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an inspection and cleaning of your dryer vents to help you maintain a safer and more efficient dryer.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call! We look forward to providing you with a lifetime of high-quality, professional services!
Never overlook your dryer vents. You may think they don’t need that much attention, but when taken for granted, it could create a problem in your home.
With things like carpools, soccer practices, and other family-related activities with which to contend, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that some things, often through no fault of our own, take a back seat to everything else that’s going on. One thing that is commonly overlooked by homeowners is the proper maintenance and cleaning of dryer vents. People may think that cleaning these vents isn’t all that important. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Dangers of Lint Buildup
There are thousands of fires caused by dryer lint buildup that happen every year. One of the ways to decrease the chances of fire is to clean your dryer vent after every laundry load you use it for. In fact, studies prove that effective cleaning maintenance of dryer vents can reduce the chances of fire by 90%. Not only does vent cleaning help prevent house fires, it also will make sure our clothes are dry and smelling nice after each use.
Increased Energy Consumption
Aside from the dangers of fire, buildup of dirt and lint in the dryer vent can also significantly increase your energy consumption. This is due in large part to the fact that a clogged vent makes your dryer take more time to dry your clothes. There are numerous warning signs that you can watch for that will indicate that you have a dirty dryer vent. Possible signs that the vent may be clogged is if the dryer no longer dries the clothes in one cycle, the clothes carry a musty smell after a drying cycle, the dryer seems to run hotter than normal, a visible amount of lint is noticed around the lint filter, and debris is noticed within the outside dryer vent opening.
Importance of Vent Cleaning
To avoid this potentially dangerous buildup in your vents, you need to follow a predetermined maintenance schedule. As a general rule of thumb, the majority of dryer vents need to be cleaned at least once a year; some dryer ducts need more frequent attention. Some determining factors include:
- The number of people who are using the same dryer
- The age and condition of the dryer
- The length of your dryer vent
The best way to ensure dryer safety is to clean the lint screen after every use and to have your vent and duct cleaned regularly. Each time you run your dryer, lint builds up in the vent. Cleaning the lint screen will help you keep the dryer running and working well, but a little lint will remain within the vent. It is very important to keep up with dryer vent cleaning, as the built up lint poses a very serious hazard to your house and everyone in it. If you are unsure when your dryer was last serviced or you notice that the dryer seems to be running hotter than normal, you should contact us as soon as possible.