The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a consumer product safety alert. According to the CPSC, on an annual basis there are 15,500 fires, 10 deaths and 310 injuries due to dryer exhaust duct fires. These fires result in millions of dollars in property loss. Because the dryer duct is usually 4″ diameter, the slightest amount of deposit can greatly reduce the ability to exhaust. When it starts taking longer to dry the clothes, the problem is not usually the dryer but rather the exhaust system.
The most common warning signs of dryer vent clogs include:
Excess Lint Behind Dryer – Clogged dryer vents can prevent lint from properly passing through the vent system. This can cause a buildup of lint behind your dryer.
Longer Drying Time – If your clothing takes more than one cycle to dry, this could indicate that there may be an obstruction in your dryer vent preventing the proper airflow needed for it to work efficiently. The result is a shorter lifespan for your dryer, as well as higher electric bills.
Overheat Shut Off – When a vent line is clogged your dryer has to work harder to dry your clothes and doesn’t allow heat to be vented properly, which causes it to overheat. Dryers that overheat typically shut off to prevent a fire. This should not be taken lightly; we recommend having a professional look at your system before your next load of laundry.
No Lint on Lint Screen – Lint screens should be cleaned after every drying cycle. If your screen is not accumulating lint on it, this is a sign that the air that carries the lint is not making it through the screen and out of the dryer because of a clogged dryer vent. 3 This can create conditions for a fire inside your dryer.
Excess Lint on Clothing – Clogged dryer vents do not allow your dryer to properly expel lint, causing lint to accumulate on clothing during a drying cycle.
Hot Dryer & Hot Clothes – If the top of your dryer is hot to the touch, or if clothing is excessively hot after a drying cycle, it can be a warning sign that there is inadequate airflow caused by a clogged dryer vent.
Moldy Smell – Clogged vents can create a breeding ground for different types of molds. These molds create unpleasant odors and can also cause health issues.
Pets – Having pets increases the risk of lint accumulation and clogs due to pet hair combining with lint to create larger obstructions.
We can assist you when you’re ready to purchase a new dryer or if you’re having problems with your existing dryer vent. We can repair your dryer vent and correct any safety issues, and we can also perform routine maintenance checks to increase the life of your dryer and keep the air moving out of your laundry room.