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  • Kyle Donovan

Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?

According to Google the most common questions about dryer vent cleaning is “How often should a dryer vent be cleaned?" and "Is dryer vent cleaning worth it?”

The answer is a absolutely yes! You should absolutely have your dryer vents professionally cleaned yearly.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was failure to clean, accounting for one-third (33 per cent) of dryer fires. When was the last time you checked your dryer vent and ensured it was not prone to a fire starting due to excessive lint? Many people don’t realize the importance of cleaning vents and lint traps regularly until it’s too late.

Some signs your dryer vent needs a cleaning:

  1. Clothes take longer to dry — You know how long it should take for your dryer to do its job. If it’s taking way longer, that’s a prime sign of a clogged dryer vent.

  2. Burning smell — A burning smell never signals anything good, does it? If you catch a whiff of something burning while your dryer is running, that might be a clue your vent is blocked.

  3. You notice debris outside the dryer vent — The dryer vent is meant to expel air to the outside, not debris. If you see lint and laundry debris around your vent, that’s an indication your dryer vent is so clogged that it’s spewing lint — clean that out ASAP!

  4. Dryer is hot to the touch — If your dryer becomes hot to the touch, don’t ignore it. You might be feeling the first warning sign of a big problem.

  5. You don’t remember the last time you cleaned it — To prevent dryer vent fires, you should clean your system every year. If you know you didn’t do it this year and can’t remember the last time you did, that’s a sign it needs some attention.

Preventing Dryer Vent Fires

Preventing dryer vent fires is a simple matter of keeping the vent system clog-free. Here are the two main ways homeowners can stop clogged dryer vents:

Clear your lint trap every time — Your dryer’s lint trap prevents a lot of the laundry debris from making its way into the exhaust tube. However, if your lint trap is too full, it can’t do its job. Keep your lint trap clear to slow how quickly the vent becomes clogged. Make clearing your lint trap a part of your laundry routine. Clean your dryer vent once a year — Since a clogged dryer vent is the main culprit, you need to clean it out every year to reduce the chances of the dryer catching fire. Whether you hire a professional or tackle the job yourself, make sure you clear out your dryer vent once a year.

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