One area of household maintenance often overlooked is cleaning a dryer vent. Doing so can prevent problems with your dryer, its exhaust system and improve its energy consumption.
1. Over time, your dryer duct becomes clogged. If dryer duct cleaning is not done, lint and dust begins to accumulate in your ventilation duct, not just in the dryer at the lint screen, but all the way through the ventilation tube to the outside exhaust system.
2. When your dryer duct is clogged, water begins to collect in the duct in addition to the lint. Excessive lint presents a fire hazard, and the excess water can cause water damage to the vent or, if the problem continues unchecked, even to the dryer itself. Dryer exhaust system cleaning will remove the extra lint and water.
3. When dryer vents are cleaned, on average between 3 and 5 gallons of lint are removed and a surprising two to four gallons of water also.
4. Regular dryer vent air system cleaning can keep your home from hosting one of the over 24,000 house fires each year that are caused by clogged dryer vents. Typically, electrical or mechanical parts in the dryer fail, causing a spark that ignites the vent. Because clogged vents cause a dryer to emit more heat, if the vent is clogged enough, the heat from the dryer is sufficient to ignite the lint.
5. Hints that you should consider dryer home air duct cleaning (before a fire, that is) include clothes taking longer to dry than normal, especially heavier items such as jeans or towels, clothes feeling too hot when you remove them from the dryer immediately after it has finished, or if the outside flapper on the air vent no longer opens and shuts when the dryer is on.
6. Having your dryer vent cleaned will also make your dryer more efficient by correcting the airflow. The dryer no longer has to work as hard to push the hot, moist air to its exhaust vent as it did when the vent was clogged, so it doesn’t use as much electricity.