When was the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? For as often as we do laundry, dryer vents get ignored far too much. And over time, as lint and debris accumulate, it can create a potential fire hazard. To learn if your dryer vent is dangerous, here are some common signs that can indicate it’s time for a cleaning.
Your Clothes Are Taking a Longer Time to Fully Dry
When dryer vents get too clogged up, they end up blocking where the hot air needs to escape. This air carries moisture along with it from the wet clothing. So when the vent is blocked, it can take much longer to get your clothing dry. If you still have damp clothes after a full spin in the dryer, this could be a red flag.
You Can See Lint in the Hose
An easy way to tell if your dryer vent is potentially dangerous is to look inside the hose or dryer flap outside. If you can see lint and debris that’s blocking the way, schedule a cleaning.
There’s a Faint Burning Smell Coming from the Dryer
Do you get a burning smell when using your dryer? If so, this is a serious warning sign that your vent needs cleaning. This can be especially dangerous because lint is very flammable and can easily ignite with enough consistent heat. If you smell burning, don’t ignore it. Avoid using your dryer until the vent can be cleaned.
It Burns to Touch Clothing Directly From the Dryer
After a spin in the dryer, clothing should be warm and dry, not scolding. If it’s almost too hot to touch your items fresh out of the dryer, it means there is likely a blocked vent that isn’t allowing hot air to escape.
How Often Should I Get Them Cleaned?
The timeframe can vary depending on how often you do laundry. On average, it should be done at least once every year, and more often for those who have a tendency to do laundry on a more frequent basis.
The Potential Risks of Clogged Dryer Vents
A clogged dryer vent can be dangerous for a number of reasons, which is why these signs should never be ignored. Here are a few of the hazards that it can cause:
As mentioned above, the main threat is the risk of a fire. The fuzzy fabrics and lint which can quickly build up in dryer vents are incredibly combustible. It really doesn’t take much to catch fire when combined with an intense amount of heat.
Mildew and Mold
Lint can also increase the humidity in and around the vent as it traps in the hot, moist air. This can eventually lead to mold and mildew growth, which can be toxic. Mold and mildew spores can grow and spread rapidly if they are not contained and removed. If they develop around the vent, they can begin to spread in the walls and insulation too.
How to Keep Your Dryer Safe:
Clean Out the Filter After Every Load
If you keep forgetting to do this, make a sign and attach it right above the dryer to remind yourself and others to clean out the lint before and after each load.
Keep the Surrounding Area Clear
Make sure the area around the dryer is clear from anything that could block the vent or catch fire.
Inspect It Regularly
Check to make sure the outdoor vent covering opens properly when the dryer is in use, and keep an eye out for any nests or pests around the vent.
Have it Professionally Cleaned
At least once a year, have your vent professionally cleaned. If you’re experiencing any of the above warning signs, don’t ignore them.
Contact us at Power of Vac of Ottawa for professional vent cleaning services today!