What are the dangers of a clogged dryer vent?
The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is failure to clean the vents. When debris begins to clog the dryer vent, the exhaust gases produced by the dryer begin to back up and create a potential fire hazard. This can turn an otherwise helpful appliance into a disaster waiting to happen. Besides being a fire risk, clogged dryer vents can lead to:
- Short-circuiting and major electrical problems
- Overheating in the home
- Increased energy bills as the dryer has to work harder and harder with each in order to dry clothes.
Signs your dryer vent needs to be cleaned
It is important to clean dryer vents before they get to the point where they could be a fire hazard. Some of the signs that a dryer vent needs to be cleaned include the following:
- Clothing comes out of the dryer much hotter than normal
- The drying cycle takes longer, or clothes are damp after a normal cycle
- The laundry room feels much hotter than normal
- The lint filter fills up quickly or appears unusual
- Utility bills rise without an explanation
- Clothes from the dryer take on a musty smell
- Dryer sheets smell odd or break down more than usual during the cycle
Who should you call to have your dryer vent cleaned?
For homeowners looking for dryer vent cleanings in Phoenix and the surrounding area, rather than just calling a handyman, it is worth looking for a dryer exhaust technician that is familiar with the biggest fire risks and can help you prevent clogs as well as eliminate any existing ones. An incorrectly cleaned dryer vent can be just as dangerous as an uncleaned one.
Dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 22 home structure fires reported to US Fire Departments from 2006-2010.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Facts:
- In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported US non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.
- Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires, washing machines 4% and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4% of the fires.
- The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). 8% were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.