The August 2012 report by the U.S. Fire Administration noted an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
Failure to clean was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings. Dryer vent cleaning is an area of routine home maintenance neglected by many homeowners. For this reason it has been described as the “hidden danger” in many homes by fire officials. So how do I know if it’s time to have my vent cleaned? If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
• Clothes (especially jeans and towels) take a very long time to dry.
• The dryer gets warm or hot to the touch when dryer is running kenmore dryer repair los angeles.
• The flappers on the vent cap never open when machine is running
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s probably time to have your vent cleaned. Getting your vent cleaned and inspected leads to lower utility cost, faster drying times, and most importantly a reduced risk of dryer fires.
Anatomy of a Clothes Dryer
If you understand how a dryer works you will understand how important it is to have your vent cleaned regularly. Dryers are very reliable, and easy to use. You’ll be surprised at how simple this common machine is. Clothes dryers have:
• A rotating tumbler that holds the clothes.
• An electric or gas heater that heats the air that is drawn through the clothes as they tumble, which in turn heats up the clothes and water in them.
• An exhaust system that passes the moisture out of the dryer to the dryer vent in the form of steam.
As the clothes in your machine heat up, the water in them turns to steam. The machine then takes that moisture in the form of steam from the machine, through the transition duct (the hose in the back of your dryer that connects the machine to the wall) through the dryer vent (located behind the wall) and out of your house. The dryer works in conjunction with the vent to complete the drying process. Now that we have learned how a dryer works you can see why if your vent is clogged or dirty your clothes could take several hours to dry or worse yet, can cause your dryer to overheat and catch fire.
How Often Should the Dryer Vent be Cleaned?
Well, it all depends on several factors such as the number of monthly loads, the kind of laundry washed (diapers, towels and other high lint producing items). Other factors would be the length of the vent and the number of elbows in the vent run. Dryer manufacturers recommend the dryer vent be cleaned annually.