Before Cleaning After Cleaning
Dryer Vent 101
When it comes to dryer fires,
flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic are the most problematic
because they can sag and let lint build up at low points. Ridges can
also trap lint. Metal ducts, neither flexible or rigid, are far safer
because they don't sag, so lint is less likely to accumulate. What’s
more, if a fire does start, a metal duct is more likely to contain it.
No matter which kind of
duct you have, clean it regularly. Also clean the lint screen each time
you use your dryer and get rid of any lint inside, behind, and
underneath the dryer. These simple steps will not only reduce the risk
of a fire, but your dryer will also dry your clothes faster and use less
Anatomy of a Dryer Fire
Dryer fires usually start
beneath the dryer when the motor overheats. Overheating is caused by a
build-up of lint in the duct that increases the drying time and blocks
the flow of air. Naturally, any lint that has collected under the dryer
will burn and the draft from the dryer will pull that fire up into the
duct. Since the duct may be coated or even blocked with lint, many times
a house fire results. Other contributing conditions may include failure
of the thermostat and limit switches in the dryer, lint inside the
dryer, a missing or damaged lint screen, a crushed hose behind the
dryer, or a bird’s nest or other debris blocking the vent.
Dryer Fire Fact Sheet
Statistics and Implications
- Dryer exhaust fires now
surpass creosote (chimney) fires in frequency on a national level. In
1998, the most recent statistics available, the Consumer Product Safety
Commission reports that over 15,600 dryer fires occurred killing 20
people, injuring 370 more and causing over $75.4 million in property
damage. According to the CPSC, in most of these cases the culprit was
lint getting into the machine’s heating element, sparking and fueling a
fire. Not surprisingly, some fire departments and insurance companies
now require that dryer vents be inspected and cleaned regularly.
- With gas dryers, there
is also concern of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Since lint and flue
gases use the same avenue of exit from the house, a blocked vent can
cause CO fumes to back up into the house. These fumes are colorless and
odorless and they can be fatal. Low-level CO poisoning mimics flu
symptoms (without the fever): headache, weakness, nausea, disorientation
and deep fatigue. At higher levels, occupants can fall asleep, lapse
into a coma and die.
- Dryer is still producing
airflow, no heat. It takes longer and longer to dry clothes, especially
towels and jeans or any other article of clothing.
- Clothes are damp or hotter than usual at the end of the cycle.
- Outdoor flapper on vent hood doesn't open when dryer is on.
- Airflow in the vent seems low.
Benefits to Dryer Vent Cleaning Regularly
- Allows your dryer to operate more efficiently, using less energy and saving you money.
- Protects your dryer from excess wear and premature death.
- Helps clothes dry faster—a time savings for busy families.
- Reduces excess household dust and humidity
- Helps preserve clothing, as the life of many fabrics is damaged by excessive high heat.
PREVENTS A POSSIBLE DRYER FIRE!Excessive lint build up could be a potential fire hazard, as well as
excessive energy consumption, causing your dryer to work harder than it should.
What you should know about the dangers of a congested dryer vent:
WARNING! if you have a gas dryer, it is possible that carbon monoxide may leak into
your home, if your dryer is not properly vented. If your dryer vent
becomes congested with lint and other debris, it can cause your dryer to
Here at Envirosafe safety is #1 so we perform free electronic gas leak tests on all gas dryers.
All dryer vent cleanings come with a 3 month no clog guarantee on
the main vent pipe inside the structure. **NOTE** vent caps are excluded due to poor design and exposure to the elements.
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