Dryer Vent Cleaning
Another Type of Dangerous Build-Up
In heating ducts, the build-up of dirt and debris can cause health problems and inefficient operation of a home’s HVAC system. Most homes also contain a smaller type of duct – dryer vent – that can cause a different type of build-up, with a potentially life-threatening situation: dryer fires.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that more than 15,600 dryer fires occur annually, causing more than $75.4 million in property damage, injuring 370 people and killing 20. In most cases, the culprit is lint in the heating element—often caused by lint backing up and blocking air flow in improperly installed or dirty ducts. Even dryers with safeguards are susceptible to dryer fires.
In gas dryers, improper or blocked ducts also can cause flue gasses to back up into the house. The odorless, colorless carbon monoxide (CO) fumes can be fatal. At lower levels, CO poisoning mimics flu symptoms (without the fever): headache, weakness, nausea, disorientation and deep fatigue.
Clean your Dryer Ducts and Say “No” to Fire and Fumes!
Not surprisingly, some fire departments and insurance companies now require that dryer ducts are inspected and cleaned regularly. DuctMedic can provide annual or semi-annual dryer duct cleaning to help you meet requirements and avoid potential problems. In addition, properly maintained dryer ducts allow your dryer to operate more efficiently, save energy, time and money, reduce household dust and humidity, and help preserve clothing (many fabrics are damaged by excessive heat).
How Does it Happen?
Dryer fires usually start when lint in ducts restricts air flow, which increases drying time and causes the motor to overheat. Lint underneath the dryer can catch fire, and the air draft draws the fire up into the duct. If the duct is coated or blocked with lint, a house fire can result. The problem also can be precipitated by thermostat and limit switch failure, lint inside the dryer, a missing or damaged lint screen, a crushed hose behind the dryer, or a bird’s nest or other debris blocking the vent.
Your Home Might be at Risk if…
- Dryer ducts have not been inspected and cleaned in more than a year. They can become clogged and crushed, causing build up to lint.
- Dryer duct length is more than 25 feet, which slows air flow. (Add five feet for each 90-degree bend.)
- You have a large family and use the dryer often.
- Your dryer has flexible plastic or vinyl duct. It’s inexpensive, but plastic ductwork is no longer code-approved—burning lint ignites it in as little as 12 seconds.
- Your dryer has thin, flexible foil duct. It tends to kink and stop air flow. Instead, use solid metal tubing at least four inches in diameter.
Dryer Duct Warning Signs
- Your dryer is still producing heat, but it takes longer and longer to get your clothes dry, especially heavy materials such as towels and jeans.
- Clothes are still damp or hotter than usual at the end of the drying cycle.
- The outdoor flapper on the vent hood doesn’t open when you turn the dryer on.
You Can Count on DuctMedic
If your dryer ducts haven’t been inspected lately, or you need to replace improper ductwork with solid metal tubing, turn to the duct cleaning experts to help you gain the peace of mind that comes from doing everything you can to prevent house fires and fumes. Contact a DuctMedic representative today at 1-888-700-9877 or fill out the online contact form.
Commercial Dryer Vent Cleaning
Laundromats, commercial cleaners, hotels / motels, health clubs, care facilities and other businesses that do high volumes of laundry. In a commercial setting, the dryers often run continuously, leading to even more build up, so the chances of a fire are even greater than a home dryer vent.
View and Read
Dryer Duct Research
by Consumer Reports
We’re not even sure what to say about this…