Your dryer vent is very important for releasing heat, moisture, lint and gas byproducts (if you have a gas dryer) from your home. Keeping the dryer ducts and vent system clean ensures your dryer is operating efficiently; a clogged vent causes the dryer to work much harder, increasing energy usage. So, a well maintained dryer vent system is important for energy consumption as well as fire safety, but what about the cold air it lets in during the cooler winter months? Or the hot air during the hot summer months?
There is a product on the market called a Dryer Vent Draft Blocker; it is inexpensive and it attaches easily to most dryer vent pipes. When the dryer is not running, the flapper closes; when the dryer is running, it opens. This product will make a big difference in the amount of cold (or hot) outside air that gets in through most traditional dryer vents. The draft blocker must be cleaned periodically to remove lint that builds up and to be sure it is not frozen shut.
Another thing to look for is gaps around the dryer duct where it leads outside. You can buy a can of compressed foam to fill in these gaps; it's called Great Stuff. It really is great stuff too! Be careful not to overspray it as it can be very messy; wear gloves when working with it. It only takes a small amount to fill in gaps because this product swells when you spray it. If you should get too much in one area, allow it to dry and trim the excess away with a utility knife. If you're really concerned with how it looks, you can sand it and paint it to match the siding on your home.
Maintaining your dryer vent system is very important to be sure your clothes dryer is operating efficiently and safely. Thanks to companies like Dryer Vent Wizard, many people are becoming aware of the dangers that can lurk within their dryer vent. Janice Bittner is the owner of Dryer Vent Wizard, a dryer vent cleaning, repair and installation company. Janice is committed to educating consumers about dryer vent maintenance to prevent fires and to save energy. Visit http://www.dryerventwizard.com for more tips on dryer vent safety.