Home appliances make our everyday lives easier. This is especially true for your dryer. When you consider the amount of time that a dryer saves you from having to dry your clothes manually, it’s no wonder why nearly 100 million households own a dryer. It’s easy to forget that many home appliances need periodic maintenance. This is especially true for your clothes dryer which should have a ventilation inspection at least once a year. Annual dryer vent inspections are important for reasons related to safety and performance. At Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions, our ventilation experts can’t stress enough the importance of having a clean dryer vent. A clean dryer ventilation system can make your dryer run more efficiently, which saves you time and money. However, more importantly, it can keep your home safe.
Your dryer ventilation system is designed to take hot air produced in your dryer and vent it to the outside of your home. The reason for the ventilation system is to protect your dryer from overheating and becoming a fire hazard. It has the added benefit of protecting your home from potential toxic gas exposure. Most dryers are designed with a four-inch ventilation exhaust located in the back of the unit with a four-inch ventilation duct attached to the ventilation exhaust. The ventilation duct usually leads either outside, or to your home’s main ventilation system. It is critical to your dryer’s ability to dry clothes safely and efficiently that your dryer ventilation system is properly installed and operational.
Your dryer is equipped with a lint trap that catches small particles that detach from your clothing. However, sometimes lint is able to get past the lint trap and gets caught in either your dryer’s exhaust or ventilation system. Some of this lint gets pushed out of your ventilation system by the exhaust, but some lint particles can get caught on the sides of your ventilation. Although a small amount of lint won’t have much of an effect on your dryer’s ability to vent, it acts as a point where more lint will begin to collect. If lint builds up enough in your ventilation duct it will begin to restrict airflow. When airflow is restricted, lint particles that get past the lint trap and would normally blow out of the ventilation system instead of get trapped in the ventilation duct, causing lint to build up faster and faster until, eventually, airflow is totally restricted. Restricted airflow creates a number of issues. First, hot humid air can’t escape your dryer, causing clothes to not dry as well. This can cause clothes to still be wet after a drying cycle, meaning you are wasting more money on energy usage. Second, gases like carbon monoxide that would normally be pushed out of your home will instead be pushed out through small gaps in the dryer door and into your home. Finally, with no way to vent excess heat, your dryer can easily overheat and cause a fire.
Hazards Caused by a Clogged Vent
Having a clogged vent can lead to a couple of significant safety hazards. Based on fire reporting, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) estimates that, on average, there are approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires every year causing 100 injuries, 5 deaths, and 35 million dollars in property loss. It also reports that one-third of these fires are caused by not properly cleaning out dryer ventilation.
Another issue caused by clogged dryer ventilation is exposure to carbon monoxide gas. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is a byproduct of burning fuel. Since it’s invisible and has no odor, it is often labeled as the “silent killer”. Minor exposures to carbon monoxide can lead to headaches, nausea, and fatigue. In larger doses, carbon monoxide can lead to confusion, unconsciousness, coma, and, ultimately, death.
Trust Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions
There is one way to make sure that your home is protected from the dangers associated with a clogged dryer vent and that is to make sure that you have your dryer inspected at least once a year by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified dryer ventilation expert. A CSIA certified ventilation expert has been through rigorous training and testing related to home dryer repair, dryer maintenance, and dryer ventilation safety. At Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions, our ventilation technicians pair their CSIA certification with years of field experience. This means you can trust that the work we perform on your dryer ventilation will be done correctly and with your safety in mind. We use a number of different tools including vacuums, extendable auger brushes, and inspection tools to make sure that your dryer vents are clean and safe for dryer operation.
If you haven’t had your dryer ventilation system inspected in a while, you could be wasting money on wasted efficiency or even be putting your household at risk of a fire. If you live in the greater Dallas area and would like to have your dryer vents inspected, you can reach Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions at 972-562-6851. You can also schedule an appointment with our online portal. We look forward to being your ventilation maintenance provider and wish you a safe and healthy spring!