Amazing Air Duct Huntersville also provide dryer vent cleaning in Huntersville NC.
Dryer Vent Clogs Are Preventable Sources of Repairs and Tragedy
According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2019 a Pennsylvania woman lost her life in a house fire. According to the NFPAs report for 2019 this fire started in the woman’s dryer. Further investigation revealed the dryer vent and duct work to be completely clogged with lint. The equipment’s electrical element sparked and started the clothes on fire inside the unit2. A simple dryer vent cleaning might have prevented this.
This tragedy could have been avoided. Ivy Engineering, an expert witness and engineering firm in San Diego, California states that from the NFPA’s 2010 report caused more than 15,500 fires that year. Those too could have been avoided simply by maintaining the appliance, and cleaning the dryer vent and duct work regularly.
What is Dryer Vent Cleaning?
The washer and dryer in a home is one of the least appreciated and least thought of appliances in the home. If the washer fails, we could have water all over the place, but no one ever drowned from a burst washer supply hose. However, the second half of that pair, the dryer has been the source of tragedy, as indicated in the above article about the Pennsylvania woman. How did this happen?
When the dryer runs, small bits of the clothing inside come off as the hot air moves over them to dry them. This happens because the dryer is not a sealed environment. Air is let in, heated by heating coils, blown into the drum by the blower, then through a lint trap before going out through the exhaust duct. This exhaust duct is connected usually by a flexible tube or rigid duct work, to the building or home’s dryer vent duct work. This duct work sends the hot air outside the home to discharge through a vent in the exterior wall.
Everyone who has ever done laundry has cleaned out a lint trap. However, no matter how good the lint trap is, some lint makes it through to the building’s exhaust vent and duct work. Inside those ducts that lint begins to build up where joins are made to extend the duct to the outside ventilation. That build up, over time, narrows the inside diameter of the duct work. If dryer vent cleaning isn’t performed regularly, this build up becomes a problem.
Why is it Important to Clean the Dryer Vent?
As the case in Pennsylvania illustrates, clogged dryer vent duct work doesn’t allow air flow to escape outside the dryer or the building. When this happens, stress is put on the dryer. Hot air is not allowed to escape and is trapped inside the drum of the dryer. This heat begins to build up on the unit as a whole and puts added stress on the dryer. In extreme cases this causes a fire, which can have tragic consequences. In less extreme cases this heat can cause dryer components to fail and require either costly repairs, or replacement of the entire unit. Dryer vent cleaning can prevent all of this.
How Often Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?
How often to clean the dryer vent and duct work really depends on how often the dryer is used. According to DoItYourself.com if between one to four loads of laundry a week are run, an annual dryer vent cleaning is probably all that is needed. However, for larger families who do one to four loads of drying per day, then once every six months or perhaps even once a quarter is a good idea.
How Can I Tell if My Vents and Ducts Need Cleaning?
Here are a few warning signs that you need dryer vent cleaning or even replacing in some cases.
- Drying times are longer than usual
- The unit itself gets very hot and the clothing inside the drum are also hot to the touch
- Little or no air is escaping the vent flap on the exterior of the building when the unit is in operation
- A burning smell can be noticed around the unit during operation, usually toward the end of the cycle
- Lint buildup on the vent flap is noticeable
- Tapping on the outside of the duct work feels solid and heavy (where duct work can be accessed).
In this last case, if the vent and duct work is exposed inside the building or near the vent flap exiting the building and tapping on it feels as though it is a solid piece rather than a hollow stretch of duct work, dryer vent cleaning may not be enough. It may be time to replace the ducts altogether. Of course, if there is any question, a professional inspection is always wise. Ultimately, an annual inspection and cleaning from a professional is the best defense against tragedy or unexpected repairs. If nothing else, an annual inspection gives peace of mind that while life may hold surprises, at least the dryer won’t be one of them.
For more information about dryer vent cleaning in Huntersville NC call us at: 704-624-8433