October is fire prevention awareness month; this is great time to increase consumer awareness on clothes dryer fire prevention. Clothes dryers account for over 15,000 fires per year, with failure to properly clean and maintain dryer vent systems being the number one cause.
Cleaning and maintenance are very important, but so is having dryer duct system made of proper material that meets today's safety codes. Older systems have dryer ducts made of vinyl or plastic, which becomes brittle as it deteriorates. It cracks, bends and becomes crushed when people push their clothes dryer closer to the wall. This results in restricted air flow, causing overheating and eventually, a fire.
Current UL safety codes require dryer ducts to be made of semi-rigid metal to prevent crushing and make dryer venting safer and more efficient. It makes sense to have extreme heat released through metal or aluminum than vinyl or plastic. It has also been discovered to be more efficient, making the dryer labor less and consume less energy while it does its job.
Your dryer vent system removes extreme heat, moisture, lint from your home. If you have a gas dryer, it produces byproducts like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide which are also sent through the ductwork to the vent outside. This is another good reason to have a metal vent rather than one that is made of deteriorated, cracked plastic or vinyl.
If you have an older dryer duct system, or have never had it professionally cleaned and inspected, it would be a good idea to schedule service right away. If you have an older home, or your dryer is in the basement or an upper level, the vent system is likely to be long and have a few bends which allow more lint to accumulate which could lead to problems. A dryer vent cleaning professional will have the special tools that allow easy cleaning. The service technician will also make sure your dryer vent system meets safety codes.
This article was written by Bryan Linz, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard of Central Pennsylvania. http://www.dryerventwizard offers a host of tips, tools, news reports, and links to help you keep your family and home safe from dryer fires. Dryer Vent Wizards inspects, cleans, repairs, and replaces dryer vent systems for home and business owners.