No one likes to think about the possibility of a home fire, but if you aren’t doing basic maintenance around your house, you could be leaving yourself open to unnecessary risk. The importance of cleaning your dryer vent cannot be overstated. In fact, “failure to clean” is the cause of 33% of all dryer fires.
READ MORE: Why Should I Clean My Dryer Vent
In 2017, house fires cost over $7.7 billion in structure damages, including $220 million resulting directly from dryer fires. The two leading items contributing to ignition were lint and clothing. Failure to clean your lint trap and dryer vents can lead to tragic consequences. Most clothes dryer fires happen in the fall and winter, with the majority occurring in January.
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Are your clothes still damp after a normal drying cycle? Do you have to dry longer or on higher heat than before? These are signs that your lint trap and dryer vent need cleaning. To avoid trapped and built up lint and reduce your risk of a dryer fire, follow these important tips:
- Do not use the dryer without the lint trap installed.
- Clean the lint trap before and after each load to ensure maximum efficiency.
- Never leave the house with your dryer running. In case the worst happens, you want to be there to avert disaster.
- While the dryer is running, check the exhaust flap to be sure it is opening and closing properly.
- Use only rigid metal venting. Avoid plastic or corrugated tubes as this collect lint.
- Check vents for kinks or crimping that can restrict airflow and allow lint to build up.
- Keep the dryer area clear of combustible materials and fabrics.
- Ensure the dryer is plugged into a properly grounded outlet.
- Have your dryer installed and serviced regularly (usually yearly) by a certified technician?
Cleaning a dryer vent by yourself can involve a lot of work so it may be best to call a professional. If you choose to clean it yourself, be sure to clean the lint trap (both the trap and inside the holder), behind the drum, and inside the vent. Use a long brush to trap and lock lint and dust. To properly clean the vent tubing, you will need to disconnect it from the back of the dryer. Don’t forget to clean the exhaust screen on the outside of your home.
READ MORE: Importance of Cleaning Your Dryer Vent
For true peace of mind, call the professionals at Sears Clean to perform your dryer vent cleaning. Our trusted technicians are specially trained to reach every piece of lint to ensure an efficient and safe dryer system for your home. Cleanings are recommended yearly. Call Sears today!