Are you aware that your dryer vent system needs maintenance, just like your chimney, and that excessive lint buildup can also cause fires? Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you may need a sweep.
There are 15,000 plus dryer fires each year. Besides the risk of fire, a lint-clogged dryer vent can often consume extra electricity and/or gas to dry your clothes, and may shorten the useful life of your dryer – so it makes good safety and financial sense to keep your dryer vent clean.
Dryer Vent Problems – How do you know when to clean your dryer vents and ducts?
There are a number of factors that affect how quickly lint will build up in your dryer vent system, including:
- The length of the vent duct from the back of your dryer to the outside duct cover
- Whether the duct travels in a straight line or includes bends and turns
- Use of dryer sheets, which can leave a sticky residue that holds lint in the duct
- and of course how often you use the dryer
If your dryer has clogged vents and ducts, there are usually a few signs you’ll see:
- Clothing will take longer to dry
- Clothing will be very hot and still damp when dryer finishes (heavy items especially, like towels or jeans)
- The dryer itself will feel hotter
- There may be NO lint on the lint screen (ie, the exhaust system is clogged)
For more information about dryer vent safety and efficiency, see the Chimney Safety Institute of America website.