Dryer Vent Cleaning - Why Do I Need It And Who Does Dryer Vent Cleaning?
This year in the United States 30 people will die as a result of a home fire caused by a clogged dryer vent. Three hundred more will be injured, and homes will sustain $90 million in damage. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, all of this will happen in the 15,000 dryer fires that will occur in 2011, if the trends of the past several years hold true.
Most people know that they should clean their lint screen after every use, but this is not the primary cause of these fires. The fatal build up is happening behind your dryer in a duct that runs through to the outside wall.
When this line becomes blocked, it reduces the efficiency of your dryer. The dryer has to work harder, and it builds up more heat. Without proper dryer vent cleaning, this deadly combination of heat and blockage that can destroy your home.
One of the first signs that your vent is becoming clogged is a buildup of lint around the dryer door. This is caused by a reduced airflow through the dryer. Having to put the dryer on a higher temperature or run a second cycle to finish drying a load of clothes may also be signs that the vent is blocked.
Even if none of these signs are present, it is still a good idea to periodically check your dryer vent. Start by looking into the slot that holds the lint screen. Can you see or feel excess lint in there? You may be able to get some of it out with a vacuum cleaner attachment.
Next, take a look at the outside vent. You can clean some of the lint out with a clothes hanger wire.
If you remove the outside vent, you can use a special brush to clean out the hose itself. You can do this by pulling the appliance out from the wall, removing the hose from the dryer, and running the brush from the inside to the outside of the house.
Many people prefer to hire this done. Chimney sweeps and cleaning services often have the tools and know-how to do dryer vent cleaning. At the least, having your dryer back in top shape and running efficiently can save you money. It may even save your life.