Dryer Vent Cleaning Is a Must for Fire Prevention
Many people are well aware of the fire risk of a chimney; however, did you know that more fires are caused each year by your dryer vent? Over 7,500 people in the U.S. alone were injured last year due to dryer vent fires. Many people think it is just their dryer “getting old” when it takes several cycles to dry their clothes or the clothes feel hotter than normal when they are removed from the dryer. However, these are red-flag signs of a clogged vent.
Paul Barron, the owner of the Dryer Vent Doctor, states, “what happens is your dryer vent is silently filling up with dirt and lint, and the condensation causes this to eventually completely clog your vent.” Reduced airflow and lint buildup equal a high fire risk, since lint is a highly combustible material. “The Dryer Vent Doctor will come out and do a free inspection and 99% of the time, the vent does need to be cleaned. Most people are not aware of the need for annual cleaning to avoid this hidden fire danger. People are very happy about the results and are eager to recommend this service to others,” states Barron. It is important to make sure that when your dryer vent is cleaned, the company providing your service uses the correct equipment, including not only a vacuum, but also a high-pressured, “snake-like” instrument to thoroughly evacuate the problem.
Major insurance companies recommend having your dryer vent cleaned annually, and if you visit the Phoenix Fire Department website, you will find information regarding dryer vent cleaning. Captain Dennis Tyrrell, public information officer for the Daisy Mountain Fire Department, noted that their fire department has seen many fires related to clogged dryer vents. An added bonus of having your vent cleaned is the energy savings. Keep in mind that your dryer uses more electricity than almost any other appliance, and when it is working against a clog, it has to operate at much higher temperatures. “We had one gentleman call the other day who said that his clothes’ drying time had been reduced from an hour to 35 minutes,” recalled Barron.
Why clean your dryer vents?
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that in 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries.
- State Farm stated that these fires caused $97.3 million in damage. This doesn’t include sentimental value.
- Reduced dry time, which helps lessen wear and tear on your clothing, increases the life of your clothing.
- Reduced energy costs.
- The dryer lasts much longer since it’s not operating at these higher temperatures.