You’re undoubtedly aware of the need to clean the lint trap in your dryer. But do you realize that your dryer’s vent has to be cleaned as well?
Throughout time, lint accumulates in the dryer’s vent, leading the machine to overheat. Since the lint is so flammable, it can quickly cause fires.
And this is what happens to households when their home burns down because of lint accumulation inside the dryer vent.
The Fatal Danger Caused By Clogged Dryer Vent
During 2016 and 2020, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported more than ten thousand fires caused by dryers. The failure to clean dryer vents caused the majority of the unfortunate incidents.
A blocked dryer vent can easily escalate into a significant issue. Learn about the warning signs and why it is vital to clean your dryer vents on a routine basis.
The Warning Signs
The warning signs that you should notice regarding your dryer and dryer vents are:
- Your clothes are taking longer to dry than usual. It happens when a blockage in your dryer vent keeps heated, humid air from exiting, extending the drying rate and leaving your clothing damp after a session.
- You detect a burnt odor. Lint and cloth fluff are extremely flammable. Thus a tiny amount only requires a spark to ignite. Whenever you notice something burnt while using your dryer, switch it off right away and call a professional.
- After a drying session, your clothes might feel too hot to touch. Naturally, you expect your clothing to be dried, but if touching them without hurting your fingers is tough, your vent could be clogged, preventing excess heat from exiting.
- Lint can be seen in the dryer vent or across the dryer cover on the exterior. When you observe deposits in any of these spots, then know it’s time to clean the dryer vents.
- The dryer vent must be cleaned thoroughly once per year in an average home. Those who do a lot of washing should clean their vents more frequently.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent
There are numerous dangers a clogged vent can cause to you and your life:
Every year, nearly 5% of house fires in the United States occur because of dryer and dryer vents, causing deaths, damages, and millions in property destruction.
About a quarter of the accidents are sparked by residents who forget to clean their dryer vents.
High Electricity Bills
Excessive heat can damage your device, necessitating costly replacements.
When you need the extra electricity because of an inefficient dryer, the expense of a clogged dryer vent can quickly mount.
Rodents and Pests
Most people wouldn’t care about it, but if there’s sufficient lint accumulation to force through the exterior dryer vent, you’re allowing rodents like rats free access to your household.
Critters, birds, snakes, bees, flies, insects, and many more pests can easily enter or even nest inside the clogged vent, which can cause diseases and fire breakouts.
A clogged dryer vent can trigger the buildup of carbon monoxide that’s usually stored and released through the excessive wastages and blockages in the vent.
We all know carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that has the potential of killing humans and other living beings through asphyxiation. Carbon monoxide sensors can usually help detect these but it is best to take preventive measures early on.
Ineffective Dryer Operation
If the dryer vent is clogged, it’s pretty evident that the dryer won’t function properly. The dryer vent is meant to force heated, damp air out of the dryer so that it can draw in additional dry air to finish drying.
However, if your dryer vent is clogged, the humid air will remain in the machine, making it more difficult for your clothing to dry.
Shortens Dryer Vent Life Span
The dryer vent, as we know, vents out the excess heat and humid air outside the machine and keeps our clothes warm and dry. But if the vent is clogged, that won’t happen, and the excessive heat won’t be able to pass out of the dryer itself, which will overheat the machine.
This shortens the lifespan of the dryer vent as well as the dryer. And, commonly, electronic devices end up getting damaged and ruined because of overheating.
It’s probably time to clean your dryer vent if you can’t recall the last time you did. A dryer cleaning service should be scheduled once a year, or even more often if you use your dryer routinely.
I’ve covered this subject on how often you should clean your dryer vent in more detail in a previous release. Again if you’re not sure if a dryer vent cleaning is necessary, look for the red flags of a blocked or clogged dryer vent.
Though there are a lot of DIY dryer vent cleaning solutions, a skilled professional can always get it done so you don’t have to risk anything.