Why clean your dryer vents…
Dryer vents become dirty or clogged over time. Lint from clothing, human and animal hair, and whatever we left in our pockets quite often survive the washing machine. As clothes tumble around in the dryer this lint and debris from our clothes become air born. As the air from the dryer escapes through the ventilation system the damp lint and debris follow. Lint being damp as it escapes has a tendency to stick to the outer walls of the ventilation system. The lint over time reduces the air flow which makes the dryer work harder and can even restrict the air from escaping altogether.
If your dryer vents are clogged then the hot air that is supposed to escape isn’t. That means that the damp air is coming into the house. The result can be mould issues. But it can also mean allergy issues too.
Lint-clogged dryer vents create unnecessary wear and tear on dryer parts, which can lead to costly repairs. What kind of repairs? A dryer sucks in air from behind the dryer. The air passes an element very similar to that of an oven. The air blows through the tumbling clothes and then through the ventilation system. If the hot air has nowhere to go or is restricted the dryer begins to heat up. The air in the dryer becomes hotter but doesn’t dry the clothing because no moisture is being released through the vents. The dryer has sensors that will blow once the dryer reaches a certain temperature. The result is expensive repair cost dryer vent.
Also as a dryer is working harder because of inefficiency and lack of air flow, the dryer will consume more energy resulting in higher gas or electric bills.
Clogged dryer vents can also pose as a potential fire hazard. Lint is very flammable. As dryer vents clog, the area surrounding the dryer usually accumulates quite a bit of lint. As the dryer sucks in air to be heated, lint would also be sucked up passing through the heating element. This creates a very dangerous fire hazard.
Warning signs that indicate your Dryer Vent is clogged.
- Jeans and towels take more than one cycle to dry
- Clothes are damp and hot after a cycle
- The dryer is hotter to the touch than usual
- Windows fog up in the house every time you use the dryer
- Your laundry room has a lint problem
- The outside vent isn’t opening while dryer is on
- You may even hear birds chirping in your vent
What can you do?
- Clean the lint trap after every load of laundry
- Inspect the vent outside to make sure it isn’t clogged or birds have not made your vent a home
- Pay attention to the condition of your dryer. Inspect the area surrounding your dryer including the electrical connections or the gas connections.
- Replace any plastic hoses or kinked hoses with proper metal hoses
- Never leave the dryer running when you are not paying attention
- Regular maintenance will ensure your dryer lasts many years.
There are monitors available that can help you feel safe about your dryer vents. Lint Alert monitors the air pressure in your ventilation system and lets you know when you need to clean your vents.
Regular inspections and maintenance is recommended by all manufactures. They recommended getting your dryer vents cleaned by a professional every 12 to 18 months. A professional will be able to scrape out all the lint that has built up in your ventilation system and your dryer. An inspection by a professional will also ensure that your dryer will work efficiently and safely.