With the typical American household dryer logging nearly 500 hours per year it's a wonder that more people don't regularly inspect their exhaust vent on their machine. Your dryer actively vents moisture laden air to the outside to help it more efficiently dry your clothes. This air contains particles of lint, dirt, and other debris which overtime builds up on your exhaust port, the exhaust tube, and the exterior vent and screen. As this debris builds up it restricts the flow of air from your dryer to the outdoors which makes your dryer work harder to remove the same amount of moisture. It also increases drying time which in turn draws more energy and increases your electricity costs.
There are several reasons why it is important to get your dryer vents professional cleaned. Many of them have to do with safety, maintenance, performance and cost. For the most part, we all do basic maintenance when we clean out the lint traps on our dryers in between laundry loads, but is that enough?
Lint can build up in more places than you think, that small dryer filter can get most of the lint but nowhere close to all of it. Instead lint can get trapped everywhere including the lint trap, the interior dryer duct, the dryer vent and especially the dryer itself. Unfortunately, this can easily turn into safety and health hazard.
As most homes have accordion-like foil or plastic vinyl dryer vents that are prone to extreme link buildup, there ridged shape quickly collects lint and easily restrict air flow. Therefore, making them a major fire hazard and putting additional pressure on your machine and its energy cost.
When should you get your air vents cleaned? Are there any warning signs you should look out for? The answer is yes! The first major sign to look out for is if your dryer operating isn’t as good as it used to. If you have ran your laundry for longer than you used to, or after one cycle your clothes aren’t completely dry. Your dryer works by removing moist or hot are from your clothes, thus if there is something blocking the air from getting out, you dryer will have to work harder, and you will be forces to run your clothes through a couple extra times.
Another tell tale sign that you need to get your dryer vents cleaned is that your clothes will come out of the dry unusually hot. When air can’t escape it can result in your dryer, your clothes or your laundry becoming extremely warm as the air has no where to go.
The last and most noticeable sign that your dryer vents need to be professionally cleaned is if they have an unusual smell. Lint is not the only thing that gets trapped in your vents, built-up bacteria, slime, mildew or soap scum can also be blocking your vents and transferring those elements onto your cloths.
Regular laundry room maintenance can help safe your home by reducing the risk of fire damage as lint is an extremely flammable substance and it causes estimated 15,000 home fires each year. Cleaning your dryer vent regularly can also save you money. As clogged dryer vents can generate extra wear and tear on your appliance this can lead to more expensive breakdowns and in extreme cases replacements. Also, the harder your dryer has to work the more energy it uses which leads to higher energy bills.
Finally, and most important reason to have your dryer professionally cleaned is for you and your family’s health. When the dryer vent is clogged, dangerous carbon monoxide gases aren’t able to escape. Instead, they build up inside the vent and may seep out into the laundry room and into other areas of the home.
Let Steve's save you money and wear and tear on your dryer by inspecting, cleaning, or replacing your dryer vent. Your dryer, your health, and your wallet will thank you for it.