The Importance of Cleaning Out Your Dryer
Keeping your dryer vent clean is key to protecting your home from a fire. A dryer pushes out hot, humid air so the clothes dry. If the vent to the dryer is blocked by lint the heat can not escape. Therefore, moisture will be trapped and more heat will have to be generated to get your clothes dry.
What are the Risks?
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning risk
- Fire Hazard- 15,000 fires per year are caused by the dryer and a third are a result of a dirty dryer vent.
- Wear and tear on the dryer
A clothes dryer should always be installed by a professional that ensures the correct electrical plug and outlet are used. If your dryer is powered by gas, they need to check the gas line to your dryer as well. All instructions must be followed from the manufacturer to prevent any fire hazards. The dryer vent should be cleaned out periodically throughout the year.
If you smell something burning near your laundry room, take action immediately. That is a signal that hot air is being compressed inside the exhaust hose. Another sign is clothes are very hot to the touch. Therefore, if you have clothes that are noticeably hotter, the air vent is either clogged or not working properly.
How Do I Clean the Dryer?
The dryer vent flap to the outside should open whenever the dryer is cycling. If you notice the dryer vent is not opening that should be a signal that something is wrong. When you have the dryer vent installed, lint will not collect on the exhaust vent or dryer hose. The risk is lowered even more if the lint trap is cleaned after every cycle. Removing excess lint will help the flow of the hot air and help the clothes dry faster. No matter how correctly your dryer has been installed or if the vent is cleaned out after every use, lint will still build up. Therefore, you should hire an HVAC professional to come and clean it out or check on the exhaust hose yourself.
Lint is highly flammable and can smolder inside the exhaust hose. Therefore, lint should be cleaned out after every use. The build up not only effects the lint trap but, the back of the dryer as well. Simply pull the dryer out of its place and clean any excess lint out of the way. The more lint removed, the less likely you are to have a dryer fire. The lint filter should be cleaned with a nylon brush every 6 months. Clean the vent pipe to the outside out every 3 months to remove build up. This can be done with a steel brush or HEPA vacuum. If, you come across a problem or notice clothes are still not drying after cleaning, call a professional to perform a maintenance check.
The drum of your dryer does not need to be cleaned out regularly but, should be wiped down with a damp cloth. Although, if pet items, sandy clothes, or muddy/ dirty clothes are put in the dryer, then wipe the drum down after they are taken out. This will reduce any after smells on the next load and reduce any grime that might get on the other clothes.
Thompson Building Associates is a certified fire restoration and mitigation company. If you are afflicted by fire or smoke damage caused by your dryer, call Thompson Building Associates to get your home back to normal! We are available 24/7 365 days a year with a live person answering your call every time.