Reducing House Fires with Dryer Vent Cleaning

January 4, 2018

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Clothes dryers are responsible for over 2,900 house fires each year. The damage caused by the flames cost homeowners over $35 million in property loss. While some dryer fires are completely unpredictable, failure to clean the dryer vent is the leading cause of these accidents. Don’t let your home become one of the many. Whether you handle your dry vent cleaning in Sandy Springs, GA on your own or you hire a professional, here’s a bit more information on the importance of dryer upkeep.

The Dangers of Lint

Every time you run your dryer, lint is collected. Lint is the left-over fibers and materials that come off of your clothes and linens as they’re dried. As the water and moisture is removed from your clothes, it causes the remaining dirt and any loose fibers to be collected in a lint trap. Because lint is made of dry clothing fibers, it’s extremely flammable. Even if you empty your lint trap before each load, your vents are still collecting bits and scraps.

Lint Build Up

Lint tends to group together due to their interlocking fibers and static. While this makes lint collectors easy to clean, it creates a bigger issue for dryer vents. As lint collects, it creates a large ball or mass that clogs vents. If you have a long dryer vent, you’re providing additional space for lint to collect and gather. Vents with extenders that are flimsy also cause lint buildup, as they are more susceptible to being crushed. Keep in mind that if your dryer is located close to the wall, it may be restricting necessary air flow which could also cause lint buildup. The more lint that builds up, the more likely a fire is to occur.

Detecting Lint Buildup

Removing lint buildup is difficult if you don’t know it’s there. No matter what type of dryer you have, there are tell-tale signs that your dryer is working overtime due to a lint-clogged vent. If your clothes are taking longer to dry or if the outside of the dryer is hot after a cycle, you most likely have lint that’s causing your dryer to reach dangerously high temperatures to dry your clothes. A burning smell is another sign that small pieces of lint may be igniting due to these high temperatures. No matter which of these signs you notice, it’s important to take action immediately to avoid a house fire.

Removing Lint Properly

Continue to remove lint from your dryer’s collector before starting any new loads. On top of the basic day-to-day lint removal, clean your vents and dryer ducts bi-annually.  If you’re unsure of how to properly clean your dryer ducts, enlist the help of a professional. Don’t forget to empty the lint vent that’s located at the back of your dryer. Simply use a vacuum to suck up any lint that may be present.

It doesn’t matter if you handle your dry vent cleaning on your own or if you hire a professional to do it twice a year. What’s important is that it gets done. Protect your family and your home from the dangers of a dryer fire. Clean your dryer vent regularly!

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