People often put off doing the necessary maintenance on appliances in their home. They realize the importance, but they either don't want to spend the money or they simply take it for granted that deferred maintenance will not cause a problem. The appliance most often overlooked happens to be the one that is most likely to cause a fire. It is also the most expensive to operate, especially if it isn't properly maintained. Believe it or not, the appliance I'm referring to is your clothes dryer! Yes, you have a greater chance of starting a fire with your clothes dryer than you do with your stove or furnace! Here are 4 good reasons to have your clothes dryer vent professionally inspected, NOW:
The biggest and most costly danger of a clogged dryer vent system is a fire. With over 15,000 dryer fires in the US each year, failure to clean and properly maintain the dryer vent system is the leading cause. Secondary causes are dryer vent systems that do not meet city, state and manufacturer's codes. These are the old, sagging, vinyl or plastic ducts. Your dryer vent system carries hot, moist air and lint out of your home. When the moist lint sticks to the inside of the ducts, it forms a hard crust for more lint to stick to, restricting air flow, causing overheating, and eventually, a fire. Lint is very combustible, so a dryer fire will spread quickly and damage will be devastating.
Like any other appliance, proper maintenance keeps it running smoothly and prolongs its life. Overheating within the system is damaging to your clothes dryer. Having a professional inspection enables a technician to correct problems before they occur. Your clothes dryer is one of your simplest appliances to maintain and operate. It will perform favorably and last for years if it is properly maintained.
A clogged dryer vent system causes your dryer to work harder, sometimes taking 2 - 3 cycles to properly dry each load. How frustrating! Your washer has completed its cycle, you're ready to start another load, and the clothes in the dryer are still wet! It is not normal for even an older dryer to take more than 1 cycle to dry a load. This is a warning sign of a fire hazard.
Save on Energy Bills:
The average cost of drying a load of laundry is about .75 per cycle. When your dryer takes 2 - 3 cycles to dry a load, it goes up to $1.50 - $2.25; this adds up quickly! Keeping your dryer vent system properly maintained will keep your dryer performing at maximum efficiency and save you money on utility bills.
Add dryer vent cleaning to your annual appliance maintenance schedule. The service fee for dryer vent cleaning is minute compared to how much you will save in energy costs, dryer repair or replacement, and most of all, the cost of replacing your home and its contents in the event of a fire.
This article was written by Gina Fazil, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard in Sacramento, California. DVW specializes in dryer vent cleaning, repairs & alterations, while educating consumers on dryer vent maintenance and fire prevention. Gina Fazil of http://www.dryerventwizard.com services Sacramento, El Dorado, Solano, Yolo, Folsom, Vallejo, Vacaville, Roseville and neighboring communities.