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.
To help prevent fires:
Clean the lint screen/filter before or after drying each load of clothes. If clothing is still damp at the end of a typical drying cycle or drying requires longer times than normal, this may be a sign that the lint screen or the exhaust duct is blocked.
Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct periodically. Check the outside dryer vent while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust air is escaping. If it is not, the vent or the exhaust duct may be blocked. To remove a blockage in the exhaust path, it may be necessary to disconnect the exhaust duct from the dryer. Remember to reconnect the ducting to the dryer and outside vent before using the dryer again.
Clean behind the dryer, where lint can build up. Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to minimize the amount of lint accumulation. Keep the area around the dryer clean and free of clutter.
Replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. Most manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, which provides maximum airflow. The 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.
Take special care when drying clothes that have been soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains. If possible, wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of volatile chemicals on the clothes and, preferably, hang the clothes to dry. If using a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that has a cool-down period at the end of the cycle. To prevent clothes from igniting after drying, do not leave the dried clothes in the dryer or piled in a laundry basket.
·Are your clothes taking more than one cycle to dry?
·Do you smell something burning when the dryer is running?
·Do you have condensation on the inside of your dryer door?
·Do you have a heavy accumulation of lint at the base or back of the dryer that you have to clean often?
If so, these are all signs that you must have your dryer vent cleaned!
Did you know?
·According to the U.S. Fire Administration there is an estimated 15,600 dryer fires annually with 15 deaths and over 400 injuries.
·U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends cleaning your dryer vent annually to prevent lint blockage that may cause a fire.
·According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers your dryer needs maintenance like any other appliance. In order to keep sufficient airflow around the heating source, lint must be removed from the dryer and vent.
·The proper type, length and installation are crucial to maintaining the proper airflow recommended by manufacturers.
·Dryer vents clogged with lint cost $16 to $25 more per month.
Dryer Vent Cleaning is a simple solution to many common problems. You may want to consider having one of Dryer Vent Professionals technicians out to provide an inspection of your dryer vent to determine if the service should be performed. Drying times that surpass 35-40 minutes, clothes that are abnormally damp to the touch after drying, and a backdraft damper flap that does not open during a dryer’s operation are all indicators that a dryer vent should be cleaned.