Dryer Vent Cleaning 101

Every time you turn on the dryer to dry a load of laundry, the system goes to work to pull out the moisture using heat. Yet, most dryers create exhaust fumes. Those fumes travel out of the dryer into a vent hose and out of your home – when the vent is cleaned and properly maintained. If this doesn’t happen, those fumes end up in your home. That’s a highly dangerous problem.

Look at the back of your dryer. You are likely to notice a box-like or a tube-like system running from it and into a wall or out a window of your home. This is the air dryer vent. The problem is that clothes tend to have dust, debris, and just fabric particles on them. During the drying process, this material gets into the dryer vent and clogs up the system. It can line the opening of your dryer as well as the areas leading out of the home. This creates some dangerous situations.

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What Happens When You Don’t Clean the Dryer Vent?

When you do not take the steps necessary to remove that debris, it can clog the vent completely. If it blocks the interior vent space, the exterior vent, or any area within that long tube, it can cause several concerns.

Dryer Vent Fires

One of the biggest risks is fire. If you imagine all of this fabric-like material building up in the vent, and the heat that the dryer is producing to dry your clothes, it is easy to see where the problem can occur. This can spark a fire in the dryer that quickly spreads through your home.

Clogged vent dryers are one of the most common causes of appliance-related fires in the home. And, they are often preventable simply by cleaning out the material.

Air Quality

Another concern is the air quality in your home. In some situations, the vents can dislodge from the dryer. This allows all of those exhaust fumes to get into your home instead of out of the house. This is a dangerous situation. It can lead to both a fire risk and a buildup of carbon monoxide in the home. This can be a deadly killer. You cannot see, smell, or taste it. It can easily put your entire family at risk. Be sure you have CO2 monitoring in your home to detect for this.

Dryer Efficiency

Another key concern is that the clogged dryer vent is going to cause the system to stop working efficiently. You may notice that it takes longer for your clothes to dry thoroughly. You may have to restart the dryer, for example. This is an indication that the vent is clogged.

You can fix this problem. First, work to clean out the dryer lint trap with every load you do. This helps prevent some of that material from entering into the vent leading out of the home. Second, be sure to clean the vent itself on a routine basis. This should be done about one time a month.

Your Dryer Vent Gameplan

You can do some of this yourself. However, it may be best to have a professional handle the updating and cleaning of the exterior dryer vent. If you have not done it recently, it’s even more important to call a pro in to do the work. That’s because dryer lint and debris can buildup into the dryer itself, causing a wide range of problems for the mechanisms there. This takes a professional to fix.

Call Choate’s HVAC today for a dryer inspection and dryer vent cleaning. We can keep your home safe and your dryer working for the long haul.

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