The laundry dryer plays an essential role in ensuring that you and your family enjoy the use of clean and fresh dry laundry at all times.
After every drying cycle lint, from the laundry dried using the machine, makes its way up the vent carried by hot humid air. Although most of it is caught by the filter, which should be cleaned after every cycle, some remain in the vent, accumulating into a substantial mass over time.
Cleaning the vent helps clear the accumulated lint, and as such, eliminate some of the associated risks, chief among them, in house fires. Every year, thousands of domestic fires are caused by the combustion of lint accumulated in dryer vents.
Read on to find out when you should clean your home’s dryer vent, and avoid the associated effects of an unchecked lint build up.
Before we delve any deeper into the above topic, let’s take a few seconds to look at the main reasons why you should even consider having your dryer vent cleaned in the first place.
Keep The Dryer In Top Condition
It takes longer to dry laundry using a dryer that has a blocked vent. This means that the unit is forced to work harder to make up for the loss in efficiency. This usually places more pressure on the machine’s working parts, inducing additional (largely unnecessary wear and tear on vital parts) leading to regular breakdowns.
Regular repairs translated into more money out of your pocket to shoulder the costs involved. Where the problem persists, and vital parts fail, you may have to fork out even more money to purchase a replacement in case of a serious breakdown.
As previously stated, a lint-clogged dryer vent usually puts your home at a higher risk of an in-house fire. Lint has a low flash point, even lower than paper; this combined with the fact that temperature usually rises exponentially when there is a blockage, translates into a high risk of fire. Getting the vent cleaned goes a long way in minimizing the risk of your dryer blowing up into a fire.
As you can clearly see from the above, cleaning your dryer’s vent not only helps preserve the life of this highly useful modern appliance but also ensures the safety of your home and family.
Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning
Since every household has their own unique dryer usage patterns, it’s hard to point out when cleaning should be done. However, if your machine exhibits any combination of the signs listed below, then it’s time to call in a professional dryer vent cleaning service.
Drying Laundry Takes Longer
As previously mentioned, a clogged dryer vent can reduce the machine’s effectiveness when it comes to drying laundry. For instance, you might need to run a single load through the machine a number of times before you achieve the expected results. This is due to the fact that the clog prevents the passage of humid air from the clothes.
If you notice that your clothes are coming out of the dryer damp, then normal, every time you pass them through the dryer, then you should consider having it inspected and cleaned to clear any lint build up.
Higher Energy Bill
Passing your laundry through the dryer more times usually translates into higher energy bills. The dryer’s reduced efficiency will cause it to work harder and with it, consume more energy as it tries to pick up the slack.
If you find that your energy bill has been steadily increasing, even though you don’t have any additional energy requirements, it’s possible that a clogged dryer vent is the root cause.
A dryer that is unable to properly exhaust hot air through its vent will be hotter than normal. The trapped hot air usually heats up the machine, as well as the surrounding area.
If the dryer feels hot to touch, then it’s recommended that you schedule an inspection and cleaning session, as it may signal danger. As previously stated, it doesn’t take that much heat to ignite flint, and resultantly cause a house fire.
If you use your dryer a few times every week, cleaning the vent once every year is enough to keep it in good working condition; and more importantly, keep your home safe from related fire incidences. However, if you have a larger family, and use your dryer a few times every day, then it might be better to have it cleaned every three or six months.
If you do notice any of the signs described above, it’s highly recommended that you call in an emergency dryer vent cleaning service.