We all know how important it is to clean out the lint filter, but did you know that the dryer exhaust vents need to be cleaned regularly too? Lint build-up can damage more than just your clothing––it can also cause a fire if it’s not removed. In fact, there are thousands of “dryer fires” that occur each year. Fortunately, this can be easily avoidable with just a few simple preventative measures. Read on to learn what you can do to prevent a dryer fire from occurring.
What Causes a Dryer Fire?
Most people assume that dryer fires are caused by faulty wiring and damaged machinery. However, the primary cause is dirty lint filters and vents. Lint is made of highly flammable material and when lots of it starts to clump together, it doesn’t take much for it to ignite and burn. To put it into perspective, it is so flammable that many people collect it and use it as kindling for their campfire. So the sooner you can remove the lint from your dryer filter and vents, the safer you will be.
How Else Can Lint Cause Issues?
When lint builds up it can cause humidity levels to rise, leading to mildew and mould in the vents and on the surrounding walls and insulation. Excess lint in the vents can also reduce the airflow quality of the machine, resulting in indoor air quality issues and reduced dryer lifespan.
Before and after each load of laundry, remove and clean out the lint filter. Because lint is highly flammable, it’s important that you store and dispose of the lint somewhere that is dry and away from any heat or flames.
Every few months, you should give the filter and machine a thorough cleaning. Simply use a bristle brush to clean out any lint that has built up and clogged in the filter and submerge the screen in hot water to remove any of the remaining residues. Then unplug the dryer and pull it out from the wall. Use a vacuum to remove any lint around the machine, especially near the electrical sockets.
DIY dryer cleaning only removes the lint that you can see, but you also have to clean out the vents to prevent a fire. Ideally, every year you should have your dryer vents cleaned out by a professional. HVAC professionals have special tools that can remove the lint inside the vents and tubing. A deep clean will also improve the airflow, putting less stress on the system and saving you money down the road.
Regular maintenance of your dryer is just as important as having it cleaned. A damaged or loose filter should be quickly replaced with a new one. Periodically check the venting system to ensure that nothing is restricting the airflow inside or blocking the outside vent as well. Also, make sure that the outdoor vent coverings lift and open when the dryer is in use, and that the dampers are properly working to prevent rain, dirt and other debris from getting inside. An HVAC professional can also assist with any exterior vent cleaning to ensure that the entire system is free of debris and working properly.
After being locked down all winter long, lint, dust, and dirt can easily build up in your dryer vents creating both fire and other health risks. If you haven’t had your vents cleaned out this year, get in touch with us at PowerVac of Ottawa. We’ll come and clean out your dryer vent to improve the airflow and keep your home and family safe. We also service apartment buildings, retirement homes, schools, hospitals, retail spaces, and more.