Dirty dryer vents are gross. But, more importantly, they’re a serious fire hazard. Dryer vents should be inspected at least once yearly. Read on for information on how to recognize when it’s time to clean your dryer vent.
According to FEMA, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. And fires caused by clothes dryers cause an estimated five deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Signs that it’s time to clean your clothes dryer vent:
First, the Outside of your Dryer is Very Hot
This is a warning sign that the vent does not exhaust properly. In fact, if your dryer is hot to the touch, the system may be clogged and blocking airflow. This not only wastes energy, it causes premature wear on the heat element and blower.
Second, Drying Time Takes Longer than Usual
When a dryer vent is clogged, the drying cycle time doubles or triples. For that reason, clothes are not completely dry at the end of a regular cycle. A dryer is designed to push out hot, moist air. And if your dryer vent is blocked, the air stays in your dryer and keeps your clothes moist. Hence, when your dryer runs longer, you cut your machine’s useful life in half.
Third, You Notice a Burning Odor
When you run your dryer, you should not notice a burning odor. Accordingly, lint is flammable and if it gets too hot, it will catch on fire. The lint not only builds up in the exhaust tube, and lint trap, it can build up in the drum casing. If you smell this, stop using the dryer immediately and call for a service or inspection.
In conclusion, clogged dryer vents are one of the top causes of dryer fires. And, although this is a much less dramatic concern, an inefficient dryer can also cost you both time and money, tacking on as much as $20 a month to your utility bill. Dryer vents should be inspected at least once yearly.
Benefits of a Clean Dryer Vent System
- A clean dryer vent reduces your chances of a dryer fire
- It lowers your power bill, because the cycles are much more efficient
- It increases the lifespan of your dryer
Bob Vila has a great article on how to clean your dryer vents.
Contact Gutter King Wichita for local resources on dryer duct cleaning.