Commercial or residential dryer vents are cleaned periodically to reduce the risk of fire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, resulting in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust ductwork. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.
Dryer Vent Fires - A Common Problem:
Lack of maintenance is the leading cause of dryer fires with lint identified as the source material igniting the fires. The fires may be caused by:
- Failure of mechanical and/or electrical parts within the dryer
- Improper materials placed in the dryer
- Insufficient airflow as a result of improper installation
Dryer Vent Fire Prevention - A Simple Solution:
Have dryer vents professionally cleaned and inspected annually to help prevent dryer vent fires. Routine maintenance and care of your dryer vent system to prevent fires includes:
- Dryer vent systems need to be up-to-code with your city, state and dryer manufacturer
- A properly installed all-metal dryer vent will help ensure airflow; replace any plastic or foil vent with semi-¬rigid or solid metal venting
- Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter
- Clean lint trays and screens before or after each use of the dryer
- Remove accumulated lint around the drum
- Clean lint out of the vent pipe
- Wash lint screens with soap and water every few weeks to remove residue left behind by fabric softeners
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating
- Make sure the outdoor vent flap is not covered by snow, bushes or any other materials
- Keep dryers in good working order; gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks
- Dryers should be properly grounded
- Make sure the correct plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly
- Avoid overloading a washing machine or dryer
- Follow the manufacturer's operating instructions
- Avoid having combustible chemicals (cleaning products) or chemical-laden items near dryers
- Never dry items that have come in contact with flammable substances, such as cooking oil, gasoline, paint thinner, alcohol, etc.
- Keep the dryer area clear of things that can burn, such as boxes or clothing
- Never leave the house or go to bed with your dryer running
Reduced airflow and lint build-up cause overheating and prevent fast drying action. When this happens, safety switches cycle on and off continuously and can fail over a period of time. This results in higher costs of operation and could cause a costly and dangerous dryer fire.
DUCTZ professionals use a variety of specialized tools and procedures to clean dryer vent ductwork. The entire process usually takes about one hour. However, cleaning is only one part of our service. The dryer vent is also inspected for several mechanical issues that should be checked by a professional duct cleaner. DUCTZ professionals are the qualified choice.
Advanced Warning Signs
- Clothes (especially towels or jeans) that take a long time to dry
- Clothes are hotter than usual at the end of the cycle
- Flapper on vent hood doesn't open when dryer is on
If you notice any of these signs, schedule a professional dryer cleaning or inspection immediately.
Save Money Starting Today!
The use of proper venting materials helps to achieve maximum performance and extend the life of your dryer. When clothes are given the appropriate amount of air, they dry quicker, are subject to less tumbling, and result in less electric or gas usage from your dryer.
DUCTZ now offers the LintAlert!
Help prevent a dryer fire in your home! DUCTZ now offers LintAlert units when cleaning dryer vents. The LintAlert checks the exhaust environment and gives you important information so you can help save energy and improve home safety.