Monday, July 9, 2012

Dryer Vents and Fire Hazards

The major cause of excess lint buildup in a dryer vent system is lack of cleaning and maintenance. Many vent systems have not been cleaned for 5 – 10 years if ever. This is an extreme fire hazard and should be addressed immediately. Another cause is inferior design or installation of the dryer vent system. Long vent runs, vertical vents and vent systems with too many bends can create an unusual hardship on the efficiency of your dryer. In fact dryer manufacturers recommend a total dryer vent length of no more than 14 feet, deducting 2 feet for each 90 degree bend. There are countless homes throughout the United States, including many new homes, that do not adhere to this specification. Builders, contractors and inspectors are either unaware or have completely overlooked the dryer vent system. Many times these systems require a blower assist fan to help solve the problem. The blower assist fan is a fairly simple installation that can be located in the attic of your home. While the fan is an added expense, it will be well worth it. When your dryer is operating at peak performance, it will use less energy. You will save money on electricity and gas and recuperate the cost of the fan in no time. But the most value you will receive is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your family is safe from dryer fires.

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