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You Should Really Consider Getting Your Dryer Vent Cleaned!

The dryer is one of the most used – yet least serviced – appliances in our homes. While we rely on dryers to help us with our laundry year after year, very few homeowners do much to ensure they continue to run safely and efficiently. One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your dryer working is by having the dryer vents cleaned.

The importance of dryer vent cleaning

Many homeowners assume that operating the dryer safely is as simple as emptying the lint trap after each load. However, the same lint that accumulates in the trap can accumulate in the dryer vent. If left unremoved, clogged vents can decrease dryer performance and significantly increase the risk of an accidental dryer fire.

Lint and other debris build up in the dryer vent over time – even if you clean the dryer vent after every load. This narrows the vent and constricts air flow to the dryer; this causes the dryer to work harder, producing hotter and hotter air. As little as half an inch of lint accumulation in a four-inch dryer vent can reduce airflow by as much as 50%. This superheated air can cause the extremely flammable lint to ignite, causing a dryer vent fire that can quickly spread to the rest of your home.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are more than 15,000 house fires caused by clogged dryer vents each year. In addition to endangering lives, these fires cause tens of millions of dollars worth of damage to homes and personal property.

How clogged vents affect dryer performance

In addition to the significant risk of accidental fire clogged vents can cause, they can also affect dryer performance. While dryer vents should be cleaned regularly, the following signs may indicate that your vents are becoming clogged.

  • Clothes take longer than one full cycle to dry completely
  • More and more lint is accumulating in the lint trap after regular loads
  • The laundry room or area surrounding the dryer is noticeably warmer when in use
  • The dryer itself or the clothes in it are too hot to touch
  • Clothes or the inside of the dryer have a strong, musty odor
  • Lint or debris is visible around exterior vents

Professional dryer vent cleaning

Luckily, the risk of accidental dryer fire can be significantly reduced by having dryer vents regularly cleaned by a trained professional. Using special brushes, vacuums, and other equipment, a professional cleaning can remove dirt, lint, and other debris from the walls of the vent. Likewise, the condition of the vents, such as any kinks or holes, can be assessed.

At Clean Sweeps of Michigan, we don’t blow the lint on your lawn, hand you a bill, and leave. Our highly trained dryer technicians will clean and inspect your dryer vents, helping your dryer run more efficiently and reduce your risk of dryer fire. For more information on dryer vent cleaning or to schedule your next appointment, contact us today!

Re-Positioning Your Dryer Vent

A home remodel or purchase of a new washer and dryer that require a differently configured laundry room can mean re-positioning the dryer vent. In that event, homeowners are strongly encouraged to let a certified chimney sweep or other venting professional handle the job. Far too important to home safety to attempt without professional help, the dryer vent’s inspection, cleaning, and proper re-positioning is not a good DIY project.

Dryer Vent Hose - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MI

Dryer vents are a top source of house fires even when their clearances are correct and the proper type of venting is in place. Lint builds up inside them, or critters make their way in, and trapped heat causes something to catch fire. The dangers are exponentially increased when there are problems with the integrity of the venting itself.

Things Change

Both dryers and vents are different today than they were when anything but a brand new home was built. Both are fast changing, as manufacturers keep up with consumer demands and municipal codes, and existing venting might not be appropriate for a new dryer. Furthermore, if it is being moved anyway, it is both a good time to clean it and a good chance to consider more direct venting.

Many dryer vents run complicated routes from the dryer to the outdoors, making right-angle turns that involve joints. Those corners are where things like to pile up, so if a straighter run out of the house is possible, the dryer vent is safer. Additionally, the type of venting used needs to be a good match with the load placed on it in order to last.

Getting It Right Means Safety and Savings

Pulling the dryer away from the wall and thoroughly vacuuming around it is something for homeowners to regularly do themselves. Repositioning a dryer vent is not, since there is little point in moving it somewhere without maximizing its efficiency at the same time. Homeowners will not only be amazed by what professionals pull out of their vents, but will also be impressed by the energy savings with proper venting.

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