Did you know that your dryer vents should be professionally cleaned every single year? That’s right – just like with your HVAC system and fireplace, annual service is a must for your dryer vents, too! And neglecting this maintenance can actually invite some pretty big risks.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re due for a cleaning, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Has it been over a year since your last cleaning?
- Are your clothes taking unusually long to dry? In other words, are you finding yourself forced to run cycle after cycle to avoid damp laundry?
- Is your laundry room exceptionally warm or humid?
- Do you notice hot, musty smells when entering your laundry room?
- Are your clothes unusually hot after running a load of laundry? Is the dryer itself hot to the touch after a cycle?
- Do you notice lint escaping your lint trap or appearing in or around the dryer?
If you answered yes to any of these, it’s well worth investing in some professional care. Schedule a dryer vent cleaning with us today to ensure you get the most from your appliance in the months ahead!
Your Dryer Vents & Dryer Fires
So, we mentioned that there are risks involved with avoiding dryer vent maintenance, but what exactly are these? Well, first and foremost, dirty dryer vents are the leading cause of dryer fires in the United States. When lint builds up, your appliance tends to overheat, which can then cause all that flammable material to easily ignite.
And once flames start, it doesn’t take long for them to spread.
Thousands of fires occur every year in the United States due to clogged up dryer vents, along with multiple deaths and injuries. Now, obviously, investing in professional cleanings is a surefire and necessary way to decrease your risk of experiencing one. That said, there are some other things you can do to lower buildup, as well.
One thing is to regularly clean out the lint trap. The more this cakes up, the less amount of lint it can trap, thus sending debris into your vents or even into your dryer. We suggest cleaning it out after every dryer cycle to ensure optimal efficiency.
You’ll also want to routinely clean out the vent cap, or have it replaced, if necessary. It’s easy to forget about this important component, but try to give it a glance next time you’re walking to your car or mailbox. If you’re noticing a lot of build-up, it should be addressed right away!
Another tip is to be careful when washing clothes that have volatile chemicals, like gasoline, cooking oil, or even some cleaning products on them. If you can, wash them two or three times to ensure as much of the substance is washed out as possible. Then, either hang dry them or dryer them at the lowest heat setting possible. You’ll also want to remove them from the dryer right away, and don’t leave them piled in the laundry basket either, as they may be more prone to ignite.
Finally, if possible, replace your foil/plastic accordion-style ductwork with a more rigid and dependable metal duct, as these are a lot less prone to clog. They’re also less likely to become damaged or crushed, which then inhibits airflow.
Your Dryer Vents & Carbon Monoxide
Another big issue with clogged up vents is the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. If your vents are filled with debris and there’s no room for fumes to properly vent to the outside of your home, then you risk carbon monoxide turning right around and entering your the air you’re breathing.
Carbon monoxide can be deadly if too much is inhaled and, due to its colorless and odorless nature, it’s basically impossible to detect its presence. Because of this, avoiding exposure at all costs is a must!
Sometimes people note symptoms of exposure, like nausea, headaches, confusion, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and similar ailments, but unfortunately, these closely mirror that of a cold or the flu. This leads many to simply carry on, never assuming carbon monoxide is the culprit.
Investing in dryer vent cleanings is one way you can help to ensure your risk of carbon monoxide exposure stays low. Along with this, we urge all homeowners to invest in carbon monoxide detectors for each level of their home. Just be sure to check the batteries every 6 months (as you would with a smoke detector), replace them every 5 – 7 years, and sync them up, so if one goes off, they all go off.
Don’t Skimp On Care – Call Us Today!
You deserve an appliance that operates as safely and as efficiently as possible. Don’t skimp on the care you deserve! Rather, call in our experts to handle it all today.
What can you expect from us? First, note that we’ll always send a CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician out to complete the job. Once they arrive, the dryer will be moved away from the wall (after which some diagnostics may be completed), then a vacuum that blows out will be attached to your vent.
We’ll then use a specialized drill for cleaning to clear out every nook and cranny of your venting system from the outside, all while the vacuum is blowing from the inside. By the end of the job, you’ll be able to use your dryer with satisfaction and peace of mind.
Ready to get started? Reach out now – we’d love to get your appointment set up!