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Can an Unclean Dryer Vent be a Safety Hazard?

November 3, 2020 | Blog

Lint buildup can become a serious fire hazard if left untreated. Areas that are most prone to lint buildup include the lint trap housing, the interior duct and the dryer vent. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 home dryer fires are reported each year, with 34% of those fires caused by the failure to do a proper dryer vent cleaning.

What is a Dryer Vent?

A dryer vent is a firm or flexible metal tube that connects your dryer to the vent hood that is located outside of your home. The purpose of the vent is to release the heat and moisture from your dryer to the outside.

Why Clean Your Dryer Vent?

Your dryer vent needs to be cleaned regularly since lint build-up can cause a fire due to the excessive heat that becomes trapped inside your dryer. Not only can a dirty dryer vent cause a fire, but the performance of the dryer begins to decline without regular maintenance services. Additionally, the buildup of moisture in the vent can lead to mold, which is dangerous for an entirely different set of reasons.

How Often Should You Have Your Dryer Vent Be Cleaned?

Lee’s Air and Plumbing advises you to clean your dryer vent a minimum of once a year, depending on the dryer usage. If you have a large household, it is recommended to do it more than once annually.

Signs That Your Dryer Vent Needs To Be Cleaned:

  • Clothes have a foul odor after each cycle
  • The laundry room is excessively hot
  • There is a large amount of lint buildup in the lint trap during each cycle
  • Clothes are abnormally hot to the touch
  • The dryer takes an unusually long time to dry clothes

How Can You Prevent a Fire?

According to a blog post from the Building Performance Institute, here are the best ways to prevent a dryer fire in your home:

  • Clean the dryer lint filter before and after each load of laundry
  • Make sure that your dryer is installed by a knowledgeable professional
  • Clean the filter with a nylon brush at least twice a year – or more often if it appears clogged
  • Clean the vent pipe every three months
  • Ensure the outdoor vent cover opens when the dryer is on

Contact Lee’s Air and Plumbing for the safest and most reliable dryer vent cleaning in Fresno.


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