South Cooling understand that a clogged dryer vent can be extremely dangerous. Lint is highly flammable and can pose a severe fire hazard when dryer vents are not cleaned regularly and properly. According to the U.S Fire Administration’s National Fire Date Center, clothes dryers are responsible for more than 15,000 structure fires around the country each year, and 80 percent of those fires start with clogged dryer vents.
Another dangerous-aspect of a clogged dryer vent is the possibility of the release of poisonous gas fumes. Blocked vents can cause carbon monoxide to back up into your home instead of being exhausted outdoors.
Running your dryer with a dirty lint screen can use up to 30 percent more energy. Cleaning the lint filter between every cycle allows hot air to move efficiently through the dryer. If your dryer vent is clogged or blocked, it will have to run longer to fully dry your laundry, which uses more energy and could cause your electric bills to increase.
In addition to using more energy, if your dryer is taking twice as long to dry clothes, it is being used twice as much, essentially cutting its life span in half. It will cost you much less in the long run to hire a professional to inspect and clean your vents once a year and avoid these issues altogether.
When the lint buildup in your dryer vent becomes too large, the duct hood flap does not open and close properly. If this flap is not closing properly, it could be an invitation for birds and small rodents to make your vent their new home. In addition to keeping your vents clean, investing in a ventilation cap or dryer vent guard will help prevent these animals from nesting and other debris from collecting in your vent while still allowing lint to escape.
After having your vents professionally cleaned, try to keep the buildup to a minimum between yearly cleanings. Always clean the lint filter between load of laundry, and periodically use a small vacuum to carefully clean out the inside of the dryer, as well as the lint trap. Heavy bedding can be strenuous on your dryer, so consider air drying comforters and heavy blankets. You should avoid running your dryer for several cycles in a row. Giving your dryer a break in between cycles will allow your dryer to cool down and completely ventilate the hot, humid air from the previous cycle.
You should be able to perform most preventative dryer vent maintenance yourself, but be sure to call in a professional once a year to keep your vents clean and functional. Miami Dade County residents can call us at 305-463-8866. Broward County, 954-425-9828 and Palm Beach County, call 561-234-4952. Our estimates are always free!