When was the last time you gave thought to your clothing dryer vents? If you can’t remember — or if you have never given thought to your clothing dryer vents — the time has come to think about them. Ignoring your clothing dryer vents can cause you serious problems, and put your home and your family in danger.
You know that your clothing dryer creates lint every time you dry a load of laundry. What you might not realize is that the lint you clean out of your lint trap isn’t the entirety of the lint. With each load of laundry, damp lint bypasses the dryer and sticks to the edges of your dryer vents, then to itself. If dryer vents aren’t cleaned regularly, they will become clogged with lint. Clogged dryer vents can cause the dryer’s heating element to overheat and ignite, leading to a serious fire. In fact, firefighters in the United States respond to nearly 15,000 clothing dryer fires each year.
If your clothing dryer vents have become clogged, it’s likely your dryer will be sending you signs of a pending problem. As you think about your clothing dryer vents, ask yourself these questions:
• Are loads of laundry taking longer to dry than normal? When dryer vents are clogged, your dryer won’t work efficiently, and clothes will take longer to dry than normal. A regular load of clothes should dry within a 40-minute cycle, and a heavier load of blankets or towels should dry within an hour if dryer vents are cleared and the dryer is working efficiently.
• Is your clothing dryer hot to the touch when it’s running? Does your laundry room heat up noticeably when the dryer is running? When the vents are clogged, the dryer vent’s heating element is prone to overheating. Clogged dryer vents can cause the dryer to feel hot to the touch, the laundry room to heat up noticeable and clothes to feel unusually hot to the touch when they come out of the dryer.
• Does your laundry room smell smoky, musty or overwhelmingly like fabric softener? If dryer vents are clogged, the air won’t be exhausting fully from your dryer, which can cause an overwhelming smell of fabric softener. An overheated heating element can cause a smoky, burning smell, and if clothes aren’t drying fully with each dryer cycle, a musty smell can result.
• Do you have a smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in or near your laundry room? Even if you routinely have your clothing dryer vents cleaned, your laundry room should be outfitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to alert you and your family of a fire or buildup of carbon monoxide caused by clogged dryer vents or a faulty dryer.
The only way to protect your home from the dangers of clogged dryer vents is with a professional dryer vent cleaning. A professional dryer vent cleaning scrubs the lint from vent walls with high-powered rotating brushes and vacuums it away to keep vents clear. Think about your clothing dryer vents — if they are due for a cleaning, call to schedule an appointment with A to Z Chimney Services today!
Clothing dryer vents, just like any other appliance vents, requires regular, professional cleaning to keep your appliance running safely and efficiently. When clothing dryer vents become clogged with lint, obstructed by outside debris or damaged, they can pose a serious fire hazard in your home. Clogged dryer vents can cause the appliances heating element to overheat and catch fire. If you have a gas clothing dryer, clogged dryer vents can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. At the very least, clogged dryer vents can cause your machine to work inefficiently, costing you time and money every time you dry a load of laundry.
How To Avoid Dryer Vent Buildup
To avoid the dangers of clogged clothing dryer vents and to keep your clothing dryer running efficiently, it’s recommended that you have your dryer vents cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once per year. If you do a higher than normal amount of laundry in your home, you might even need to have your dryer vents cleaned more frequently. To determine whether it’s time to have your dryer vents cleaned and inspected, look for these signs that your clothing dryer vents are clogged:
• Drying time is longer than normal. The first sign that dryer vents are becoming clogged is that loads of laundry will begin taking longer to dry. Generally speaking, a load of clothing should not take more than 35 to 40 minutes, or one dryer cycle, to dry completely.
• Clothes smell musty when they come out of the dryer. Because clothes aren’t drying as quickly as they should be, your clothes might come out of the dryer with a musty smell when dryer vents are clogged.
• A burning smell. If your dryer vents are clogged, your laundry room might become filled with a burning smell when the dryer is running.
• Excessive heat. Because your dryer is working over time to dry clothes when dryer vents are clogged, you might notice an increase in heat in and around your dryer. The dryer itself might become very hot to the touch when it’s running, the laundry room might heat up noticeably when the dryer is running or clothes might come out of the dryer feeling abnormally hot to the touch.
• A strong smell of dryer sheets. Clogged dryer vents meant the air doesn’t exhaust from your dryer as it should. Because the air is trapped in the dryer, you might notice a very strong smell of fabric softer in the laundry room or in your clothes.
• A buildup of lint in and around the dryer. When dryer vents are clogged, lint that’s newly generated by your clothes and linens has nowhere to go. As a result, when dryer vents are clogged, you might notice a buildup of lint around your dryer’s lint trap, on the floor behind your dryer when the dryer vent attaches or outside your home underneath your dryer’s exhaust vent.
If you notice any of these signs that your dryer vents are clogged, don’t wait to have your dryer vents cleaned — You have a serious fire hazard in your home! Call A to Z Chimney Services to schedule a dryer vent cleaning and inspection to restore your dryer’s safety and efficiency.
Many homeowners ramp up their home maintenance routine after the new year. Spurred by resolutions for a cleaner home, driven inside by winter weather and gearing up for full-blown spring cleaning, countless homeowners are tackling big jobs this time of year. For homeowners tackling home maintenance tasks that are often neglected, the new year is a perfect time for a dryer vent cleaning.
Why You Need to Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned
Many homeowners don’t realize that they’re clothing dryer vents need to be cleaned and inspected just like their chimneys! That’s because every time you dry a load of clothes, damp lint bypasses the lint screen and enters the vent. That damp, sticky lint sticks to the walls of the vent and then to more lint. Over time, all of that sticky lint can form dangerous clogs in the dryer vent. When your dryer vents are clogged, the heat and exhaust can’t exit the dryer. This causes the dryer to overheat, which is a major fire hazard.
Because of the fire danger posed by clogged dryer vents, home maintenance professionals recommend having your dryer vents professionally cleaned at least once per year. If you dry a lot of clothing and linens, you might need to have your dryer vents cleaned more frequently! During your professional dryer vent cleaning, your dryer vents will not only be cleared from dangerous lint, but they also will be inspected to ensure that they are unobstructed from outside plants or debris, that they are the proper size and recommended material and that they are damage free.
How to Tell if Your Dryer Vents Need to be Cleaned
If you’re not sure if your dryer vent needs cleaned, look for the signs! Clogged dryer vents inhibit the proper function of your dryer. That’s why you might notice these signs if your dryer vents are overdue for a cleaning:
• Loads of clothing take longer to dry than usual,
• A burning smell when the dryer is running,
• The dryer or laundry room feeling hot when the dryer is running, and
• An overly strong small of fabric softer or must when the dryer is running.
Who to Call for Dryer Vent Cleaning
If you’re ready to start your year off with a properly cleaned home and clean clothing dryer vents, call A to Z Chimney Services and Dryer Vent Cleaning to schedule an appointment today! Not only will you lower your home’s fire risk and make your home cleaner, but you’ll enjoy shorter laundry drying time and lower home energy bills, and you’ll extend the life of your dryer.
What’s one simple home maintenance task that brings a host of benefits? Professional dryer vent cleaning! Many homeowners fail to have their dryer vents cleaned and inspected by a certified professional at least once per year, as recommended by fire prevention specialists, but this inexpensive service can have a big impact on your home!
Lower your risk of a fire.
The primary benefit of having your dryer vents cleaned and inspected annually is a reduced risk of a home fire. Dryer vents are responsible for an estimated 28 percent of all home fires. That’s because lint from your clothing builds up in your dryer vents, eventually restricting the air flow to and from the dryer. That causes the dryer’s heating element to overwork and overheat, which eventually results in a fire. Having your dryer vents cleaned can dramatically reduce your risk of a dryer-related home fire.
Spend less time doing laundry.
Do the clothes in your dryer seem to take forever to dry? Do you find yourself restarting your dryer over and over to get your clothes or linens completely dry? It’s very likely that clogged dryer vents are to blame. Any load of clothes should be completely dry in 30 to 45 minutes. If it takes longer than that, you’re dryer’s trying to tell you something. Cleaning your dryer can restore the efficiency of your dryer and reduce your dry time. That means you can get your laundry done faster.
Save money on your home energy bill.
Your clogged dryer vents could be costing you money on your home energy bills every month. Those additional cycles needed to fully dry your laundry, and the overworking of your dryer, requires energy. Having your dryer vents cleaned can significantly lower your home energy bills. Experts estimate that clogged dryer vents can cause as much as $18 to $24 in energy costs each month.
Preserve your clothing.
Running your clothing through multiple dryer cycles can cause it to look worn or faded prematurely. Clogged dryer vents also can negatively impact your clothes due to overheating; clothes in the dryer become hotter than they’re intended to, which can damage clothing fibers. Making sure your dryer is running properly can help your clothes to last longer.
Extend the life of your dryer.
As we’ve said, clogged dryer vents cause your dryer to work overtime. You have to run extra dryer cycles to get clothes completely dry, the dryer can’t get the air it needs to function efficiently and the heating element can overheat. All of these factors can shorten the life of your dryer. Having your dryer vents cleaned regularly can help extend your dryer’s lifespan.
Reduce carbon monoxide risks.
If you have a gas dryer, your dryer puts off carbon monoxide each time it’s on. When you’re dryer vents are cleaned and in good repair, the carbon monoxide safely exits your home. When vents are clogged, however, the carbon monoxide created by the dryer backs up into your home and can build to dangerous levels. Keep your dryer vents cleaned can reduce the risk of carbon monoxide buildup in your home.
Have you noticed that your dryer is taking longer to dry a load of laundry than it used to? Do you find yourself constantly restarting the dryer because clothes are still damp? It might not be a problem with your dryer; it likely means it’s time to have your dryer vents cleaned.
Why dryer vents become clogged
You probably know that your dryer’s lint trap is designed to stop lint from your clothing, towels and linens entering your dryer ducts. While it does stop some of the lint, the reality is that some lint does bypass the lint trap and make it into the vents. The still damp lint sticks to the walls of the dryer vent and accumulates over time. Eventually, the dryer vents can become mostly or total blocked, dramatically impacting your dryer’s functioning.
Why clogged dryer vents are a problem
Clogged dryer vents pose a serious hazard to your home. When your dryer can’t exhaust its hot air, the highly flammable lint can overheat and ignite. In fact, clogged dryer vents cause more than 12,000 home fires each year. On top of being a fire hazard, clogged dryer vents also can prevent carbon monoxide caused by your dryer’s combustion from exiting your home. That can allow carbon monoxide levels in your home to rise to a hazardous level, putting you and your family in danger.
Additionally, clogged dryer vents can jeopardize your dryer’s function. When dryer vents are clogged, your dryer can’t work efficiently. The longer drying times lead to higher energy bills, and the overheating that can occur from clogged dryer vents can wear out your dryer prematurely.
How you can tell if your dryer vents need to be cleaned
In addition to longer dry times, there are several signs that your dryer vents need to be cleaned. Those signs include a musty or burning smell when the dryer is running, excessively hot laundry, overheating in your laundry room when the dryer is running, a rapid buildup of lint in the lint trap or lint accumulating outside the dryer vents.
How to keep your dryer vents safe
If you notice any of the above signs that your dryer vents are clogged, it is time to have your dryer vents cleaned by a professional. Professional dryer vent cleaners — like the ones at A to Z Chimney Services — use specialized power brushes and vacuums to dislodge and clear lint trapped in your dyer vents. It’s recommended that you have your dryer vents cleaned at least once per year to reduce the risk of a dryer fire. In between dryer vent cleanings, you can keep your dryer vents from rapidly accumulating lint by cleaning your lint trap in between each load of laundry, never overload your dryer with laundry and regularly check the exterior of your dryer vent to make sure that it is free from obstructions and that the flap opens and closes when the dryer is running.
If it has been more than a year since you have had your dryer vents cleaned, or if your dryer is exhibiting signs that the vents are blocked, call A to Z to schedule a professional vent cleaning today!
Perhaps nothing scares homeowners more than the thought of a home fire. A home fire can cause thousands in property loss, destroy precious family treasures and threaten the safety of your family. To reduce your risk of a home fire, have your clothing dryer vents professionally cleaned.
Dryer vent fires by the numbers
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), washers and dryers were responsible for an estimated 16,800 structure fires in the United States in 2010 alone. Those fires resulted in 380 injuries, 51 deaths and $236 million in property damage. The NFPA lists dirty dryer vents as the leading cause of dryer vent fires, as 32 percent of dryer fires were caused by dirty dryer vents. With that in mind, it is recommended that dryer vents be cleaned by a professional dryer vent technician at least once per year — more often for dryers that see high volumes of laundry.
Dryer vent cleaning is particularly important in newer homes that have dryers located in interior rooms of the home. Where older homes often have short dryer vents that exit through exterior walls, newer homes with laundry rooms in bathrooms, mudrooms and closets often have long, twisting dryer vents that are more prone to clogs and more likely to catch fires.
How dryer vent cleaning works
When we clean your dryers, the technicians from A to Z Chimney Services and Dryer Vent Cleaning use our rotating brushes to loosen and release the lint from your dryer vents and a high-powered vacuum to cleanly pull any of that lint out. We also will inspect your dryer vent to ensure that it is the metal recommended by the NFPA, and to ensure that the vent is properly sized, properly installed and free from any damage or defects.
Additional dryer fire prevention
In addition to annual dryer vent cleaning and inspection, there are some steps you can take to help lower your home’s risk of a clothing dryer fire. First and foremost, clean your dryer’s lint screen in between each load of laundry, and never run the dryer without the lint screen in place. Periodically pull out the dryer and clean behind it, as lint can find its way out of the vent and build up behind the dryer. Also perform regular checks of the exterior dryer vent: Make sure that it isn’t being intruded upon by vegetation and verify that the flap on the vent’s exterior opens and closes when the dryer is in use. Finally, be on the lookout for the warning signs that your dryer vents are clogged. Those signs include longer than normal drying times, clothes that feel excessively hot when they are removed from the dryer, high temperatures building up within the laundry room when the dryer is running and a burning or moldy smell in your laundry room.
To reduce your risk of a dryer vent fire that could damage your home and put your family at risk, call A to Z to schedule your dryer vent cleaning today!