One of the earliest lessons we are taught about dryer maintenance is to empty the lint trap after every use. What many homeowners do not realize, however, is that the lint that gathers in the lint trap is also accumulating in the dryer vents. Clogged dryer vents can not only impact your dryer’s perfor
One of the earliest lessons we are taught about dryer maintenance is to empty the lint trap after every use. What many homeowners do not realize, however, is that the lint that gathers in the lint trap is also accumulating in the dryer vents. Clogged dryer vents can not only impact your dryer’s performance – they can also create a safety hazard for you and your family.
Because lint is so flammable, clogged dryer vents are the leading cause of dryer fire. As lint and other debris accumulates in the dryer vents, it constricts the air flow. The constricted air flow forces the dryer to produce hotter and hotter air; it is this super-heated air that can cause dryer lint to ignite. The fire caused by the flammable lint can quickly spread to surrounding areas in the home, causing significant property damage and endangering the lives of you and your family.According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, clogged dryer vents cause more than 15,000 house fires each year with as much as $200 million in damages. However, the risk of dryer fire can be greatly reduced by having dryer vents regularly cleaned.
The same clogged dryer vents that can cause dryer fire can also impact your dryer’s performance. When the dryer vents are clean, air can easily flow in and out of the appliance. This allows the dryer to run efficiently, drying clothes completely and in one cycle.However, the more lint and debris that accumulates in the dryer vents, the harder the dryer has to work to keep running. This results in longer dry times or incomplete loads – and can even be seen in increased power costs on your energy bill. When this occurs, most homeowners assume their dryer is faulty, too old, and needs to be replaced. However, this can sometimes backfire; without clean vents, even a new dryer will not work well.If your dryer takes more than one cycle to fully dry a load of clothes, has loads that last longer than 45 minutes, or becomes extremely hot when in use, it may be time for your dryer vents to be cleaned. Most homes need to have the dryer vents cleaned once per year; however, depending on the age of your dryer and how often it is used, the vents may need to be cleaned more or less often.
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