I specialize in dryer vent cleaning, repair and installation; anything related to dryer exhaust issues. I received a call from a homeowner recently who was concerned because their dryer duct was always getting clogged with lint. They couldn't understand what the problem was. The dryer was located on an outside wall with a short duct so what could the problem be?
Plastic or Flexible Vinyl Ducts
The first thing that comes to mind is the use of flexible vinyl material which is really designed for bathroom exhaust fans. When people use this material for dryer exhaust ducts it is known to trap lint and become a fire hazard. Quite often people use the plastic or vinyl ducts because they are easy to install. They are also longer than necessary so the excess ends up coiled behind the dryer or crushed as the dryer is shoved against the wall. This restricts air flow and traps lint. Dryer exhaust ducts should be made of rigid aluminum.
Length of Dryer Exhaust Ducts
There are other problems commonly found when inspecting a dryer vent system. Some are too long or have too many bends which cause friction and add resistance to the dryer's exhaust stream. Current safety codes allow a maximum of 25 feet if the dryer duct is straight. You must subtract 5 feet if the duct contains a 90 degree angle; 2-1/2 feet for a 45 degree angle.
The Dryer Vent
The dryer vent at the end of the dryer duct should be located outside. This is another area to check often to be sure it is working properly. Weather conditions can cause damage to the vent cap or small animals can get inside and build nests which block airflow.
There will always be some lint removed from laundry as it dries but there is a way to keep it to a minimum. First of all, do not overload the dryer. The more clothes are rubbing against each other, the more lint they produce. Fabric softener coats fibers and reduces shedding. Choosing a dryer with an automatic dry cycle reduces tumbling time; therefore, reducing the amount of lint that is produced.
Proper dryer vent installation and annual dryer vent cleaning promotes airflow required to keep your clothes dryer running efficiently and safely, preventing dryer fires and reducing energy cost. Manufacturers recommend professional dryer vent cleaning at least once a year. This job should be performed by a dryer exhaust specialist who will also make necessary corrections to existing dryer vent systems or install a new one to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.
D. Benson of Dryer Vent Wizard is a professional who installs dryer vent systems and provides dryer vent repair, cleaning and maintenance while helping to educate consumers so they understand how to keep their dryer exhaust systems in good working order. Dryer Vent Wizard has made a commitment to make 1 million dryers safer and greener by the year 2010.