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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dryer Vent Cleaning

8/1/2022 (Permalink)

If you were to ask most people what cleaning they should do to their dryer they would tell you, clean the lint trap. However, that is not enough what many people do not know is that you have to get your dryer vent cleaned as well. I'm sure you are asking, what's that? The dryer vent is the tube that runs from your dryer to outside and the vent part that it passes through. It helps you remove hot air and moisture from your laundry room. 

Why does it need to be cleaned? Over time it can get filled up with dust and other debris from your washing machine. Debris and highly flammable lint can build up in your dryer vent, reducing airflow and backing up exhaust gasses. That mixed with the heat from the washing machine is a very dangerous combination. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, fire departments respond to around 15,970 home structural fires each year  that involve clothes in dryers or washing machines. There is also a chance that gasses and carbon monoxide that should be released outside of the home through the dryer vent could get backed up into your home through a clogged vent. This is something that can be easily avoided by simply getting your vents cleaned. 

How can I tell when it's time to get the vent cleaned? According to an article on the NCADA (National Air Duct Cleaning Association) website these are some signs you are ready for a cleaning. 

  1. Clothes take longer to dry than usual
  2. The dryer is hot to the touch after a cycle
  3. Your laundry room is hot after a cycle
  4. The dryer emits a burning smell
  5. There’s inconsistent airflow from the exhaust vent
  6. Excess lint appears in the lint trap after each cycle
  7. You find debris in your yard outside of the dryer vent or can see it trapped in the vent itself

Getting your vents serviced will help you reduce your energy costs over time. It will also help your clothes dry faster and improve the life of your dryer. Clearing events allows extra heat to come through that leads to shorter drying times which will save you money. The NCADA also lists some proactive steps to take in addition to getting your vent cleaned to help reduce fire risk. 

  1. Empty lint trap after every load
  2. Let your dryer cool off for 15-20 minutes between loads
  3. Replace your flexible vent pipe with a solid metal one
  4. Move the dryer close to an external wall
  5. Use liquid fabric softener instead of dryer sheets
  6. Regularly inspect the vent pipe from outside the house to see if there is debris 

Should I try to clean my dryer vent myself? No, many people who attempt to do it themselves often do not get them cleaned properly. Most people fail to remove all of the debris that is in the vent. The recommendation by the NFPA is to get your dryer vents professionally cleaned once per year. Doing so will make your home a much safer place for you and your family. Even though you will spend money to get them cleaned, it will save you big on your energy bill each month. It is definitely worth the investment, call SERVPRO Team McCabe to schedule your cleaning today 215-536-7989. 

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