The automatic clothes dryer is a wonderful invention; very convenient and much easier than the old fashioned clothes line! But, it comes with a price; your clothes dryer, whether gas or electric, is one of the most expensive appliances to operate. A poorly vented dryer will cost $200 - 300 more in energy bills and it is a fire hazard.
Where does the heat, moisture and lint go while as your clothes tumble dry? Code states that dryer exhaust must be vented outside; however, some dryers are vented to a crawl space or an attic, causing mold and mildew problems which lead to upper respiratory related illnesses, among other hazards.
If you have a gas dryer, the dryer vent system is also removing gas by-products from your home, including carbon monoxide. Proper dryer vent cleaning, installation and maintenance is vital to your safety.
As your clothes dryer runs the blower motor pushes hot, moist air and lint out of your home; however, there is a limit as to haw far it can push the air. If the duct is too long or the pipe is clogged with lint, air flow is reduced, creating a serious fire hazard. The type of vent, length of pipe and material used affects how your dryer vent system operates.
A smooth metal material is much better than the plastic corrugated ducts that were used in the past. Plastic and vinyl material deteriorates, becoming cracked and brittle over time, causing overheating and adding fuel to the fire. Dryer vent cleaning specialists only use semi-rigid metal for dryer duct systems today.
Reducing the number of bends and turns is very important for optimal air flow and less lint accumulation. In cooler climates, it's a good idea to insulate your venting pipe to prevent condensation which will run down the pipe and can even pool under your dryer.
The inside of the dryer duct should be very smooth to allow optimum air flow. Sections of dryer ducts should be joined with duct tape, not screws which protrude inside the ducts, where lint can become caught and accumulate.
Steve Gors is the owner/operator of Dryer Vent Wizard of San Diego, County, California, servicing Corona, Oceanside, Escondido, Carlsbad, Hemet and surrounding cities and communities. DVW is the largest chain of dryer vent cleaning specialists in the US with over 50 franchisees. Read Steve's new blog for more tips on dryer vent cleaning and maintenance.