Dryer vent cleaning is an essential but easily overlooked home maintenance task, especially in the winter months when a little extra warmth could be welcome in the home. Unfortunately, a very warm to hot dryer and a warmer room indicate the dryer vent clog.
Why does the dryer vent need to be cleaned?
- The answer is not “because my association requires it”.
- It can cause a fire. Dryer vent clogs cause over 3,000 fires and more than $35 million in property damage and loss every year!
- Carbon monoxide issues. Clogged dryer vents can cause carbon monoxide buildup and fires. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill people and pets.
- Appliance inefficiency. Clogged or blocked vents cause dryer inefficiency, and utility bills to increase. Dryer wear and tear is greater when the unit has to work harder to dry your clothes.
- It’s the safe thing to do. Dryer lint is extremely flammable. Under the correct conditions static electricity can cause dryer lint to ignite.
- Clothing has a burnt smell. This is a sure sign that your dryer vent is clogged or blocked and needs to be professionally cleaned. It can also indicate a small fire in the dryer or vent.
- Wet lint build up. This can cause puddles and wet spots in or on walls and ceilings. These wet spots are puddles of warm moist air and breeding grounds for mold. Clothes might have a moldy odor. Mold is very harmful to respiratory health and home air quality.
- Wildlife nesting. Birds and rodents can make their home in clogged or improperly closing dryer vent. Rodents and birds carry bacteria that can potentially be circulated into your residence and affect your family’s health.
How to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires and Clogs
- Clean the lint trap in your dryer after every load of dried clothes.
- Periodically use a thin flexible brush to get the loose lint from inside the dryer. After brushing the dryer, put it through an “air only” cycle to collect the lint loosened up by the brushing. Clean the lint trap and wipe away any visible lint in the tumbling area.
- The best way to avoid a vent fire, or potential carbon monoxide poisoning, is to keep the lint trap and vent free of clogs and flammable buildup.
- Bring in a professional dryer vent cleaner to the “dirty work”. They are professionally trained, insured, and licensed to do the job.