Cleaning our dryer vents is a home maintenance task that many of us are not really aware of, but is necessary to protect our homes and families. Let’s look at some of the benefits of a clean dryer vent.
Preventing the number one cause of household fires: As mentioned in the previous article dryer fires are on the rise and should be addressed by homeowners. The removal of lint and a properly vent clothes dryer can remove this threat to our families and homes.
Reducing our energy bills: Clothes dryers are energy hogs second to our water heater inside of the homes. As our clothes start taking longer to dry due to the build up of lint or a restriction in the vent line the dryer starts working harder to get the clothes dry. We get gradually used to running the dryer two to three times as long as it should.
Reduced drying times: A full load of washing should only take 50 minutes to dry. Usually most should dry in about 30 minutes, but each vent, dryer, and home are different so drying times do vary. However, after having your dryer vent cleaned you should notice a drastic reduction in your drying time. You won’t be wasting hours waiting on the clothes to dry. Depending on the washing cycle you use most customers find that the clothes are dry before the next load of washing is completed.
Reduced maintenance calls: Once the dryer vent is cleaned and the dryer can “breath” again it works quicker and more efficiently. One of the main causes of breakdown is overheating which damages many of the sensors on new dryers and causes every dryer to wear down quickly. Dryer belts, heating coils, sensors, and the other components of your dryer are not made to run continuously.
Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning: Gas clothes dryers are great and dry our clothes quickly and saves money buy using natural gas. However, like our water heaters they will emit CO into the home if not properly vented. Properly vented does not just mean to ensure your dryer vent is cleaned but also the dryer hose should be inspected. We recommend only metal dryer hoses also called transitions vents for every dryer. While some foil hoses are UL listed from the tests we have seen only a heavy steel vent should be used to vent the dryer to the wall of the home. Besides allowing for proper air flow when correctly fitted the metal vent is there to protect your home. Another safety aspect we suggest is the fitting of a combination CO/Fire alarm in the laundry room as well as ensuring a well charged fire extinguisher is available.
Preventing water damage: You might wonder why there is water on the floor behind the dryer or you see damage in the ceiling. Sometimes water is actually dripping through the ceiling causing further damage to the home. This happens when the dryer vent is clogged or very restricted and the moisture from the dryer cannot escape. The dryer vent is designed to carry “air” and water will start pooling at any low spots and seeping through the seams of the vent. The water damage usually goes unnoticed for some time until the ceiling is saturated and must be replaced or at least repainted.
I hope these benefits and their cause help you in recognizing the need of having your dryer vent cleaned on a annual basis. If in doubt let us check it out and give us a call our inspections are free.