Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent
You do laundry several times in a week. You can say the washer and the dryer are some of the most used appliances at home. However, think about it - how often have you had your dryer vent cleaned? Can you even remember the last time you had it serviced?
A dirty dryer vent can pose several problems. Here, we list down possible dangers of a clogged dryer vent and how you can prevent them.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent #1: Fires
Perhaps one of the most serious dangers of a clogged dryer vent is fire. Consider these statistics based on data collected in the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System between 2008 to 2010:
Annually, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires were reported. These fires caused an estimated 5 fatalities and 100 injuries. In addition, they cause $35 million in property loss.
The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires were due to failure to clean the dryer (34%).
Most home dryer fires occurred during the fall and winter, peaking in January.
The main culprit of dryer fires is lint build up in lint traps, dryer vents, and ductwork. Lint is highly combustible. Combined with the heat that the dryer produces, lint can readily ignite and cause deadly fires.
While cleaning the lint trap regularly can help, unfortunately, this is not enough. It is important to have your dryer vent regularly checked and cleaned professionally to keep your home and your family safe from fires caused by clogging.
It is especially important to have a professional check the material used for your duct hose. They can make sure that you are up to code and using metal ductwork for your clothes dryer. White or silver vinyl duct hose should be replaced immediately. This material is highly flammable and will cause a fire if the lint is ignited by the dryer.
The Roof. Your home’s roof gets the most abuse from the weather during the winter and spring. To ensure that your roof continues to keep the elements out and prevent potential water and wind damage, check if there are loose shingles or cracks.
Making repairs, even for minor issues, will ensure that your roof lasts for a long time.
The Gutters and Drains. It’s important to ensure that the gutters are cleared of any debris or leaves not only before fall sets in but also when spring comes. Regular gutter clearing makes sure that nothing blocks water flowing safely away from the side of your home.
The Windows. Windows are a top source of water damage. Include checking of window glass and casing for any cracks or gaps. Do necessary repairs to make sure your home’s windows are properly sealed to keep out water during heavy rains.
The HVAC System. Get your HVAC system ready for the hotter days ahead. If needed, clean or change filters. If you did not have a maintenance check in the fall, now is a good time to do it.
It’s better to have any maintenance and repairs done now than have your HVAC system give out during the hottest days of summer.
While you’re doing cleaning in your yard, clear out any overgrowth or debris around your HVAC’S external unit.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent #2: Molds
Another danger of a clogged dryer vent is mold. Again, the culprit is lint build up. This can cause humidity levels to rise around the vents. If left unaddressed, this can cause mildew and mold to develop in walls and insulation.
Mold can cause health problems that range from itchy eyes to sneezing and coughing. However, it can lead to more serious issues including allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and permanent lung damage.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent #3: Poor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is compromised when you have clogged dryer vents. When there is lint clogging up in your dryer ductwork, dust mites, chemicals, and other harmful toxins can build up. Poor air quality can cause health problems.
If you have a gas dryer, your family’s safety may be put at risk with a carbon monoxide leak. Clogged dryer vents can allow exhaust fumes to get into your home instead of out of the house. This not only poses a fire risk, it can also lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
This situation is especially dangerous because you may not even be aware that it’s happening because CO2 is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. It is important to take the extra precaution by installing a carbon monoxide monitor in your home.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent #4: Pests
Neglecting to have your dryer vent regularly cleaned can cause lint buildup that prevents the proper operation of the duct hood flap. When this flap does not close properly, birds as well as small rodents can make the vent into a nest.
Never mind birds or mice, but some homeowners have found skunks and even snakes residing in their dirty dryer vents. Yikes!
It is especially inviting for these critters during the cold winter months when the dryer vent can provide much needed warmth.
Pests nesting in your dryer vent can be a health hazard. However, their presence can also compound the problem of an already clogged vent. This means you are more at risk for fires, mold growth, and poor air quality.
We recommend installing a ventilation cap or dryer vent guard. This not only prevents critter invasion, they also keep out other debris while allowing lint to escape.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent #5: High Electricity Bill
While a high electricity bill is not exactly a hazard, it certainly poses a danger to your monthly budget. A clogged dryer vent reduces the efficiency of your clothes dryer.
When the vent is filled with lint or debris, airflow is restricted. This increases the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes, consequently jacking up your power consumption. You may find yourself shelling out an extra $40 monthly for your electric bills due to a clogged dryer vent.
And we’ve often heard of this - time is money. You not only add to your power bills, you also need to spend more time on laundry instead of being able to do more tasks around the house.
Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent #6: Shortened Appliance Life
A clogged dryer vent not only is a waste of electricity, it can also put unnecessary strain on your appliance. Because it has to work harder and longer, it can cause parts to wear out faster and shortens the overall lifespan of your dryer.
Consider this - your dryer’s heating elements can cost as much as $300 to replace. If the damage is irreparable, a replacement will cost even more.
Regular preventive maintenance and cleaning of dryer vents go a long way in ensuring that your dryer lasts as long as it is designed to.
How Do You Know If Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning?
At least once a year, according to the recommendation of the Environmental Protection Agency, is how often you need to have your dryer vent serviced. However, several factors may necessitate doing it more often - having a large household with more usage of the dryer or having dogs or pets in the house.
Here are the warning signs if your dryer vent needs to be cleaned:
There is an abnormal amount of lint in the vent filter
You notice a musty or burning smell during the dryer cycle
The laundry room gets unusually hot while the dryer is operating
It takes longer to dry clothes properly
The dryer vent flap does not open and close fully
Of course, if it’s been more than a year since the last dryer vent cleaning, it’s time to schedule a cleanup.
Your Safety is Our Priority
At Southern California Dryer Vent Cleaning, we are passionate about keeping you and your family safe. We provide incomparable dryer vent cleaning service because it is ALL that we do.
Why is this important, you may ask?
When you call us for dryer vent cleaning, we do not try to upsell and pressure you into taking advantage of other services. Dryer vent cleaning is our sole service and, often, this is what you just really need, nothing more.
And because dryer vent cleaning is our specialty, we are experts at it. You can be sure you are getting the very best value for your money. We are fast, efficient, and experienced.
Lastly, the price we quote is the price you pay. No extras, no hidden charges!
Call us now to schedule an appointment at (951) 290-3105.
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