When you are washing windows and siding, sweeping the deck or pulling weeds from flower beds you are doing seasonal maintenance to keep you home looking nice. While you're at it, look at the dryer vent. Is the hood cracked or covered with moss? When everything else is neat and clean, this will stick out like a sore thumb!
More important, when the dryer is running, do you see the exhaust coming out of it? The vent flaps should open when the dryer is operating and then close when it isn't to keep mice and bugs out. Sometimes birds or bees will build a nest here which blocks air flow.
Looks Bad and Causes a Fire!
Your clothes dryer works by forcing hot air through tumbling clothes. This creates lint which is also removed from your clothes as they dry. Where does the moist heat and lint go? About 60% of the lint is trapped in the lint screen which you know to clean after every load.
This means about almost half of the lint removed from your clothes goes into the dryer vent system along with the hot, moist air. How much lint is on the screen after each load? Keep in mind that half of it is inside the dryer or the dryer vent system. Unlike the heat and moisture, the lint does not escape through the vent as most people think.
Lint is a highly flammable fuel source; add a spark from the dryer and you have a recipe for a rapidly spreading fire. Lint build-up reduces air flow, causing overheating in the system and slow drying time. If you notice your dryer taking longer to dry a load of clothes then restricted air flow is most likely the cause. Small critters like the warm vent and are known to build nests here which also blocks air flow.
Over 15,000 clothes dryer fires are reported each year with nearly 13,000 of them being residential. Dryer fires account for about 15 deaths, 300 injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. Failure to clean dryer vents is the leading cause of residential dryer fires.
Newer homes have an additional hazard as the laundry rooms are often located away form outside walls, on the second floor, in the hallway. This popular trend offers the convenience of the laundry area being near bedrooms where most of the laundry comes from.
The problem with dryers being in nontraditional areas of the home is that they require longer dryer exhaust ducts to reach the vent on an outside wall. The ducts often contain 45 or 90-degree turns and bends which navigate through the structure of the home.
When lint has to pass through longer vents it finds even more places to build up and accumulate. Air flow is reduced when dryer exhaust ducts are long or if they have bends and turns.
The longer ducts also contain hard to reach areas that the average homeowner will not be able to get to. A professional dryer vent cleaning technician has the tools required to get to these areas.
This article was written by Horatio Chiorean, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard of Palm Beach, Florida. Dryer Vent Wizard provides dryer vent cleaning and specializes in all exhaust issues. For more tips on dryer vent repair and maintenance, visit http://dryerventcleaningbrowardcountyfl.blogspot.com/