Have you noticed that your dryer isn’t drying clothes as well as it used to? Many people would think that this means that their dryer is broken, or just getting old. However, there may be another, potentially dangerous, reason why your dryer isn’t working well. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were more than 15,000 house fires caused by dryers between 2010 and 2015. About one-third of these fires were due to clogged dryer vent ducts, an issue which is easily preventable. At Hale’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair we want to warn you about issues related to dirty or clogged dryer vents and let you know what you can do to get your dryer running safe and efficient again.
Why do I get clogs?
Clothes dryers usually have a four-inch duct leading out of the back of the drying unit that is connected to an exterior vent. This duct allows hot air and harmful gases, like carbon monoxide, to be vented out of your home. However, sometimes lint sneaks past the lint trap and also enters your dryer duct. If the lint settles somewhere in your ducts, it can eventually start accumulating. This starts a cycle where the accumulated lint will reduce ventilation airflow which will cause even more lint to accumulate. This cycle will continue until the duct is fully clogged, restricting all airflow.
A couple of issues can arise due to clogged dryer vents. First, the lack of ventilation makes it harder for your dryer to pull in dry air. This leads to longer drying times which make your dryer work harder and less efficient. Also, excess heat and gases have no place to vent anymore which increases the potential for a fire or carbon monoxide leak.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests getting your dryer ventilation system inspected at least once a year. At Hale’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair our CSIA-certified dryer exhaust technicians have the knowledge and experience to inspect your dryer ventilation system and get your clothes dryer running efficiently as well as safely again.
What can you do?
One of the best things you can do to maintain good airflow in your dryer vents is to clean out your lint trap after every single drying cycle. When your lint trap is full, it weakens airflow and allows more lint to get into your dryer ventilation ducts.
It is also a good idea to check what kind of dryer ventilation duct you have. Foil and accordion type ducts tend to sag more, which gives lint a place to settle. If you have this type of duct, you may want to switch to a metal duct which won’t sag.
If you notice your clothes dryer isn’t working like it used to, don’t hesitate to call Hale’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair and have one of our CSIA-certified technicians inspect your dryer vent. Call us at 972-562-6851 or schedule an appointment today.