How to Properly Clean Your Dryer and Prevent Fire

Most home maintenance chores do not require frequent attention. If left undone, the majority of annual or semi-annual chores (such as wiping down the walls or washing the curtains) will not produce anything more significant than a little extra dust or dirt. Neglecting other tasks—like changing fire alarm batteries, air filters, or appliance maintenance—may cause not just nuisances, yet actual danger. Therefore, where will cleaning your dryer vent fall?

Routine maintenance of a dryer involves clearing out lint of the trap each time you use it, wiping the inside down if, heaven forbid, a lipstick or crayon finds its way in then shaking out gritty or sandy clothes before it enters the dryer.

Additionally, dryer vents, the tubing which leads from the dryer toward the outside, has to be cleaned at least one time per year, and sooner if there are signs that the vent is clogged. Here is why:

Clogged vents cause longer drying times that may damage your clothes and significantly increase your energy bill. The dryer’s sensors may malfunction, and lead to still-damp clothing, or clothing that is flaming hot as the beeper buzzes. Moreover, overworked dryers may result in heating blowers and elements prematurely wearing out.

More importantly, clogged dryer vents are the number one cause of house fires that are caused by dryers and washers, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Lint is extremely flammable, and the mixture of combustible lint, limited airflow, and hot air easily can produce ignition. For example, in a 4-year span, municipal fire departments replied to nearly 16,000 house fires that were caused by dryers or washers. Dryers accounted for 92% of those fires, and the number one factor in causing those was “failure to clean.”

Not cleaning the dryer vent may cause a fire. It must be done.

Even though you might clean the dryer vent on your own with an air compressor, extendable wand, or vacuum attachment, it is recommended that you schedule an expert dryer vent cleaning at least one time per year, particularly if you have a longer vent tube; it is too easy for lint to be left behind or for the vent to be punctured by a tool. Usually, the price of the service ranges from around $50 – $150.

If you see any of these, you ought to get the vent inspected before this year is over:

  • Dryer that’s hot on the outside
  • Burning odor
  • Clothes are either still damp or especially hot as the automatic drying cycle is complete
  • Clothing is taking longer to dry than normal

Correctly maintaining the dryer, both on a routine basis, is going to keep your clothing in their best condition, the dryer functioning for as long as it can, and more importantly, your home safe from a fire that is caused by a dryer.

When was the last time you inspected the dryer vent?

For more information on our high-quality appliance repair contact Mike’s Quality Services today!