Sunday, November 25, 2012

Preventing Dryer Fires

It’s been all over the media lately. News articles and television reporting have alerted us to the danger of dryer vent fires. The cause of these fires is usually lint that has built up over time and caused a blockage of the dryer vent. As clothes are dried, the moisture is displaced out of the clothes and into the vent where it mixes with dry lint and forms a paper mache like material. It then dries to form a hard blockage in the vent pipe which will not allow the hot air to escape. At this point, the blockage creates back pressure and overheats the dryer vent which causes the fire hazard. It is one of those things that is out of sight, out of mind until it happens. There are subtle hints that it is time for dryer vent inspection, cleaning and maintenance but unless you are aware enough to notice that the clothes are taking longer to dry or that your dryer seems hotter to the touch, you will probably miss the early warning signs. That is why it is so important to develop a regular maintenance schedule.

  • Inspect and clean the lint filter of your dryer before each and every use.
  • Post a small sign in the laundry room so that you won’t forget.
  • Schedule  inspections, cleaning and maintenance of the complete dryer vent system once a year.
  • Make sure that the dryer vent system maintenance is done by a qualified professional.
    You will have peace of mind knowing that the job was done right.
Also be aware that sometimes excess lint buildup is caused by the inferior design and 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. Many times these systems require a blower assist fan to help solve the problem. The blower assist fan is a fairly simple installation that is located in the attic of your home. While the fan can be 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 and recuperate the cost of the fan in no time.

Remember, with a little effort and by following the above suggestions, you will have  peace of mind knowing that you and your family are safe from dryer vent fires.
For more information and a short video, please visit our website: