Five Dryer Vent Facts Every Homeowner Should Know

Blonde woman wearing white and yellow leaning against washer and dryer white reading

Without the dryer vent, our lives would be considerably less convenient than they are. The humble, inexpensive dryer vent allows hot, moist air from the dryer to be harmlessly vented outside the home enabling us to sidestep the hassle of the clothesline. Yet there are still many things the average homeowner does not know about the dryer vent. In this article, the dryer vent cleaning experts at Steve's Air Duct Cleaning provide five things every homeowner should know about dryer vents.

#1: How the Dryer Vent Works

The clothes dryer is a pretty simple machine. Wet clothes are tumbled through an atmosphere of dry heated air. The hot air evaporates the moisture in the clothes which is then sucked out of the dryer using a fan. The fan leads to the dryer duct which is usually (not always) directed out a vent mounted in a window. By quickly and effectively removing the hot wet air the clothes get progressively dryer and we don't have to bother with hanging things up on a clothesline.

Without the dryer vent, the hot wet air from the dryer would empty into the basement or kitchen or laundry room of your Arvada home, creating a super-heated, super-moist atmosphere that would undermine everything from the paint on the walls to the electrical wiring to any nearby furniture, carpets and more. The risk of fire would also increase several-fold and the room would pose an imminent health hazard. But simply having a dryer vent is not enough. You also have to keep it clean. You do that by taking advantage of the dryer duct cleaning services at Steve's.

#2: There are Different Kinds of Dryer Vents

There are 5 basic kinds of dryer vents with design variations within each type. Those types are:

  • The accordion-style vent - This is by far the most popular type of dryer vent because it's also the most versatile. You can twist it and bend it to suit your needs in almost any situation. This type of dryer vent is usually fashioned from aluminum meaning the duct itself is fireproof. However, because the accordion shape lends itself to trapping lint, this is also the most fire-prone type of vent. It's imperative you have this type of vent cleaned by an HVAC cleaning company that knows what it's doing.
  • The semi-rigid metal duct - Similar to the standard accordion-style duct, but this duct features a smooth lining that does not promote the accumulation of fire-causing lint. This type of duct is also less prone to being crushed than an accordion duct. Unlike air ducts, you cannot install this inside a wall.
  • The rigid metal duct - This is the only type of dryer vent you're allowed to install inside a wall, like an air duct. The rigid metal duct presents a minimal fire hazard but you will need someone to conduct air vent cleaning on it from time to time.
  • The periscope dryer vent - This type of vent is fashioned from galvanized steel, is rigid and is shaped in a way that allows you to move the dryer very close to the wall.
  • The vinyl vent - This used to be a pretty popular type of dryer vent but fell out of favor when it was determined to increase the risk of fire. You won't find many of these around today.

    #3: Dryer Vent Cleaning is Crucial

    Up to this point, we've only touched on the need to keep your dryer vent clean. But the subject is so important that it deserves its own spot on this list. Every year there are literally thousands of house fires that start in dryer vents. How? The homeowner is unaware of the need to have it cleaned regularly and over time the vent becomes completely clogged with lint. When that happens temperatures inside the vent build and build until the lint catches fire. Many millions of dollars in damage results from these fires, and all too often injury and death.

    #4: Dryer Vents Invite Guests

    It gets cold and nasty during the winter. Fortunately for us, we have nice comfy homes to shield us from the elements. Birds, squirrels, mice and other animals are not so lucky. As a result, they are constantly on the lookout for a warm, safe place to hang their hat, and all-too-often they choose the dryer vent. They only need a tiny opening to squeeze through and then they're inside and suddenly you're noticing your laundry room is getting incredibly hot and sticky. That's because the guests in the dryer vent are preventing air from exiting and it's backing up into the room. When that happens you need the pros at Steve's to rectify the situation and get your dryer back online.

    #5: Dryer Vents Detach from the Dryer More Often Than People Think

    If the laundry room is suddenly boiling hot after you run the dryer it may be you have mice in the vent, or it may be that the vent is clogged with lint, or it may just be that the vent has detached itself from the back of the dryer. This happens quite a bit. So before you become convinced that you have vermin in your vent, check first to see if the vent has simply fallen away from the back of the dryer. If it has it's an easy fix.

    Expert Dryer Vent Cleaner in Arvada

    For expert air vent cleaning in Arvada search for "duct cleaning near me" or just call Steve's at (720) 419-7792.

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