When was the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent?
Like most homeowners, I have always heard that it is a good idea to clean out your dryer vent. Not the vent inside the dryer (of course that gets cleaned regularly). I am talking about the vent that leads from the dryer to the outside of the home. Doing this has been one of those things that is on “my to do list” but never gets done. Until recently. Today I am taking time to ask you to do the same. If my story doesn’t motivate you to clean your dryer vent, then maybe the statistics will.
The National Fire Protection Association says that 17,000 home fires are caused by dryers each year. These fires cause an average of 51 deaths and 385 injuries. They also cause 236 million dollars in property damage.
My dryer suddenly quit “drying” recently. It was blowing cold all of a sudden and I couldn’t figure out why. So, like most homeowners would do, I googled the issue. The first suggestion was to clean out the vent from my dryer to the outside of the home. If this vent is clogged, the lack of air flow away from the dryer may have caused the dryer to “stop drying”. I am so glad that my dryer has this automatic feature. I was like most people who think that the lint and debris that your dryer’s internal vent catches “does the job”.
I called a friend of mine who works at a local HVAC company and who has dealt with this issue many times. We took my vent piping apart and cleaned out half a garbage bag full of lent and dog hair that was blocking the dryer’s air flow. This had accumulated over a ten year period. We restarted the dryer and the airflow to the outside of my home from my dryer more than tripled. Had my dryer been a little older and not had the automatic heat shut off feature, I would have been one of the 17,000 homes that catch fire due to dryer issues each year. Do yourself a favor and contact a local HVAC company and have them clean your dryer vent. While they are there they may be able to clean you air vents as well and improve the air quality in your home.