A dirty or badly installed vent can be a serious fire hazard. It also costs you time and money. Tidewater Chimney Sweeps has 30 years of experience in servicing your dryer vents to keep your family safe.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Residential Fire Loss Estimates, approximately 16,700 residential fires originate from dryer vents per year. Dryer vent fires cause millions of dollars in property damage, as well as many lost lives. The most likely cause for dryer vent fires is a build-up of lint and debris due to a lack of routine maintenance. Dryer vents are responsible for elimination of exhaust, gases, and excess heat from your dryer during cycles. When lint clogs up that vent, it can lead to poor dryer performance, wasted electricity, and appliance stress, on top of the risk of igniting the build-up.
Signs that it's Time to Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned:
Increased Drying Time
A dirty dryer vent can cause the dryer to run longer and longer to dry the same amount of clothes because the hot air being expelled cannot freely exit the vent. Longer drying time uses more electricity and puts added stress on the dryer.
Is your clothing very hot at the end of a cycle or is the dryer is hot to touch? This means the vent is not exhausting properly. If your system is clogged, it not only wastes energy, but can cause the heating element and blower in the dryer to wear out faster.
It's Been a Year or More
Dryer vents should be inspected and cleaned annually to reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. When the dryer is used, lint will collect and adhere to the inside of the dryer vent walls over time. The larger the buildup, the larger the risk of having a dryer vent fire. Just because the dryer seems to be working well is not a good reason to skip cleaning it.
There's a Burning Smell
Lint, which is extremely flammable, can build up in the exhaust tube, lint trap and even in the drum casing. If the lint gets too hot, it can catch on fire, causing a burning smell. This is prevented by routine inspection and cleaning, and if you ever smell something burning from your dryer, you need to discontinue use and have it inspected immediately!