From mowing the lawn and trimming your shrubs to washing the windows and replacing roofing shingles, home maintenance can seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, most homeowners completely forget about their dryer vents, which can affect the appliance’s function while increasing the risk of dangerous fires.
While this is shocking to learn, an estimated 2,900 dryer fires occur each year in the United States, and 34 percent of these fires occur because the dryer vents are not properly cleaned. Learning the dangers of clogged dryer vents will help you understand the importance of cleaning and maintenance. Dirty dryer vents are not only disgusting to the eye but they are a huge safety hazard for your home.
Every appliance comes with its own maintenance, including your dryer. Taking care of your dryer, however, involves much more than routinely cleaning the lint trap. Dirty dryer vents are notorious for collecting lint and other debris, and over time it can clog up and cause problems. A clogged up dryer vent isn’t just a nuisance, it’s a safety hazard. The lint that collects inside your dryer vent is very flammable, and when enough builds up inside, it traps heat and can cause a fire. Cleaning your dryer vent not only protects your clothing but keeps your entire house from burning down.
Regular dryer vent cleaning can prevent the following problems:
- Damp loads of laundry. A buildup of lint and other debris can prevent your dryer from ventilating air and doing its job. A clogged dryer vent can result not only in soggy laundry, but money and energy wasted on multiple cycles. Cleaning your dryer vent keeps opening a clear passage of air that enables your dryer to function properly.
- Excessive heat or humidity. A dirty dryer vent not only poses a fire hazard, it traps and relocates that excess heat back inside your home. Dryers already produce a lot of heat in order to dry your clothes, having that heat cycle back into your home can create an uncomfortable problem.
- Musty odors. The trapped heat from a dirty dryer vent can also result in musty odors. It’s not just a matter of unpleasant smells, however, as the trapped heat and humidity can turn into mold, which is a serious health risk.
- High utility bills. Just like your air conditioner or furnace, your dryer requires proper ventilation in order to function effectively. When the dryer vent is full of lint, it traps that excess heat into your home and it prevents your dryer from drying your clothes. Your dryer already uses a lot of energy, and both issues end up raising the costs on your utility bill.
- House fires. The worst outcome of all is a house fire. A clogged up dryer vent is much more than a risk to your clothes and wallet. It’s important to remember than lint not only traps heat, it’s flammable. Make sure to keep your dryer vent and all other components clean of lint.
No homeowner wants to deal with the frustration of damp laundry, especially when it can result in a house fire. By routinely cleaning your dryer vent, you can save yourself from dangerous house fires and costly utility bills. Don’t wait until you start smelling smoke, protect your home and household by cleaning your dryer vent.