When was the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned?
No we are not talking about your lint trap, we mean the vent in your wall that exhausts the hot air from your dryer to the outside of your home. If it's been over a year it's been to long!
Dryer vent cleaning is an important but often forgotten about home maintenance task. Your homes dryer vent is supposed to be cleaned at least once a year according to the fire department. Some homeowners are lucky and have their dryer on an exterior wall where they can simply push a brush a couple of feet and it's clean. Most homeowners however can have up to 25 feet of duct work they need to clean!
Why should I have it cleaned?
The leading reason to clean your dryer vent is that it is a major fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), dryers, and dirty/clogged dryer vents, are one of the top 10 causes of house fires in the USA.
As you use your dryer, over time lint will begin to build up in the vent which can create blockages so that the hot air cannot exhaust out properly. With the build up of the flammable lint and the hot air not being able to exhaust properly, the vent and the dryer will start to become very hot. This heat can then cause the lint in the dryer and the vent to ignite and catch fire. As the vent is already in your wall it does not take long for this fire to spread throughout your home. The best way to avoid this is to have your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year.
What are some other benefits of dryer vent cleaning?
Another benefit of dryer vent cleaning is getting rid of unwanted pests that want to make your vent their home. Mice, bugs and birds all love to make nests in dryer vent (also a fire hazard) because of the shelter it provides and the warm air being exhausted through it. Regular cleaning will help get rid of these nests and if they keep coming back most service pros will be able to help you with options to keep them away for good.
Regular dryer vent cleaning can also help you save energy, and extend the life of your dryer. When your vent is clean and clear your dryer does not have to work as hard to push air through it. This can help lower your energy costs while making your dryer more efficient at drying your clothes.
Who should I have clean my dryer vent?
It is recommended to hire a reliable local pro to do your dryer vent cleaning if your vent extends longer than just a few feet out. This is to make sure that the cleaning is done thoroughly and with the correct equipment.