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Appliance Maintenance Tips from the Wizard of Huntersville: Dryer Vent Cleaning, Dryer Vent Repair, Dryer Vent Installation

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Services for Real Estate Pros with Dryer Vent Wizard

Dryer Vent Cleaning is the number one defense against clothes dryer fires.  Out of sight, out of mind is the reason dryer vent cleaning is often overlooked, but you really cannot afford to ignore this chore.  Dryer lint screens only catch about 60-80 percent of the lint removed from laundry; the rest ends up trapped in the dryer exhaust system where it builds up and becomes a fire hazard.

 

Lint is highly flammable which makes it good fuel for a fire to spread throughout your dryer vent system and your home.  As your dryer is working moisture and lint are removed from your clothes.  The moist lint sticks to the sides of the dryer ducts and eventually builds up.  Over time this reduces airflow, the dryer works harder and the motor overheats.  This is a fire hazard and the cause of increased energy consumption.

 

Dryer Vent Inspection and Safety Tips

 

Clean the lint trap after every load of laundry even if there is only a small amount of lint on the screen.  The lint should be dry; if it's wet then there is an airflow problem most likely due to lint build-up in the dryer ducts.  Wash the lint screen with soapy water every few months to remove residue from dryer sheets.  Check the screen for tears. 

 

Look for lint on the floor behind and around the dryer.  If there is lint around the dryer then you need to have a dryer vent specialist inspect the system; this is a sign that it is time for dryer vent cleaning.

  

Go outside and inspect the dryer vent hood while the dryer is running to be sure it is opening and there is airflow.  You should see it working; if not, then it is time for a good dryer vent cleaning and inspection.

 

If clothes are taking more than one cycle to dry this is a sign of restricted airflow.  It is not a sign that the dryer is wearing out even if it is very old.  Other signs of poor airflow are clothes having a moldy or smoky smell when they come out of the dryer or if laundry is very hot when you remove it.

 

More Safety Tips for the Laundry Room

 

Do not place clothes or rags soaked with flammable materials in the dryer even if they have been washed.  Some combustible residue can remain on the fabric and cause a fire hazard.  These items should be line dried.

 

Laundry rooms make great storage areas but do not store flammable chemicals like paint thinners or lighter fluid near the clothes dryer.

 

Never leave the house or go to sleep when the dryer is running.

 

 

Dryer Vent Cleaning and Maintenance

 

Dryer vent cleaning is recommended at least once a year.  There are products you can buy to clean your dryer ducts including brushes with rods that can be attached to a drill but most of these products are only good for short, straight dryer ducts.  If you have a run longer that 10 feet or one with elbows then it's a good idea to call a dryer vent cleaning professional to do the job.  A dryer vent repair and maintenance specialist will have the equipment needed to do the job right.  Since most dryer exhaust systems are installed by homeowners many have problems that need to be addressed. 

 

Dryer Vent Repairs and Alterations

 

A dryer vent professional can do a thorough inspection of your dryer vent system to be sure it meets current safety codes.  Plastic or vinyl ducts should be replaced with rigid or semi-rigid metal.  Depending on the location of your clothes dryer this can prove to be a big job, sometimes requiring tearing into a wall or ceiling. 

 

Dryer vent cleaning, repair and proper installation are critical to preventing fires and ensuring your dryer exhaust system is working efficiently.  The fee for this service is small compared to the loss of your home should you have a fire.  In addition the money saved on energy bills and appliance repair bills is much more than the service charge for dryer vent cleaning and maintenance.

 

Emilie Benvegna is the owner of Dryer Vent Wizard of Charlotte, North Carolina.  She specializes in all dryer vent and dryer exhaust issues, providing dryer vent cleaning, repair and installation while educating her customers on dryer fire prevention and energy savings.  To promote public awareness on the importance of dryer vent cleaning and maintenance Emilie has posted informative articles on her blog at http://dryerventcleaninghuntersville.blogspot.com/