When you think of the maintenance of your clothes dryer, there is a lot to keep in mind. Though it is likely something you think about the least, it could be the one cause you the biggest problem. Failure to maintain the dryer vent is the number one cause of clothes dryer related fires.
To understand the importance of dryer vent maintenance, you have to understand how the whole system works.
As clothes dry, lint is removed and blown out of the dryer through the duct and vent. The lint trap in your clothes dryer will capture about 60 percent of that lint. That's the part of the dryer that you should be pulling out before you dry each load and removing the lint from. But that's only 60 percent. What happens to the other 40 percent?
The rest of the lint that made it past the trap is on its way through the duct system leading from your dryer to the outdoors. The duct work is that crinkled-looking hose that comes out of the back of your dryer and leads to a hole in the floor or on the wall. While you may not see the rest of the path, it leads to the outside of your house, and to the dryer vent. Some of the lint is going to be too heavy or sticky to make it all the way through the line and will get stuck up on the walls along the way. This is something that should be taken care of in an annual cleaning.
The final stop for lint, on the way out of your dryer, is the dryer vent. This is a flapper vent top that is at the end of the line outside. This is where all that hot air is finally set free. Unfortunately, some of the lint that went with it is not freed from the vent. The lint can catch at the edge of the vent and the duct. Let it rain once or twice or even have a very thick morning dew and you can have lint that is almost glued to the inside of the vent. As it continues to build up, this could be a major fire hazard, not to mention it will make things much harder for your clothes dryer to do its job.
This article was written by Rhonda Nole, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard of the Greater North Bay area. DVW provides dryer vent cleaning, maintenance, repairs and alterations while educating consumers on dryer fire prevention. http://www.dryerventwizard.com services Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake and Mendocino Counties and the following cities in California: San Francisco, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Windsor, Napa, Ross, Kentfield, Bodega Bay, Healdsburg, American Canyon, Corte Madera, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Guerneville, Greenbrae, Sausalito, Marin City, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Cloverdale, Mill Valley, Woodacre, Novato, Tiburon, Belvedere, Stinson Beach and other near by areas.
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