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Warning signs your dryer vents need to be cleaned

When was the last time you had your clothing dryer vents cleaned and inspected? If you can’t remember, or if the answer is never, you need to evaluate your dryer’s operation to determine if your vents are clogged with lint and in need of cleaning.

Signs of Dryer Vent Buildup - New Haven-Fairfield CT - Total Chimney CareWhen dryer vents become clogged with arrant lint, the vents can overheat and the lint can ignite and cause a major home fire. In fact, dryer vents cause an estimated 15,000 home fires each year, the majority of which could have been prevented with regular dryer vent cleaning. Clothing dryer vents should be cleaned at least once per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, to lower your home’s risk of a dryer-sparked fire. Vents might need to be cleaned even more frequently if you do a lot of laundry.

If you are skeptical about the need to clean your dryer vents, your dryer could be sending you signs that its vents are clogged and close to overheating.

Those signs include:

  • Longer than normal dryer times. If your dryer can’t vent or combust properly do to clogged vents, the time it take you to dry your clothing or linens will increase. An average load of clothing should not take more than 30 to 40 minutes to dry.
  • Clothes that are hot to the touch. If heat can’t escape the dryer, that heat will stay within the dryer’s drum. If your clothes seem unusually hot when you take them out of the dryer, that is a sign that your vent is at least partially blocked.
  • An overheated laundry room. Similarly, if heat can’t escape the dryer, it can lead to overheating in your laundry room. If your laundry room seems overly warm when your dryer is running, it is time to have your dryer vents cleaned.
  • A musty or burning smell, or a strong smell of dryer sheets. Clogged dryer vents can cause a few odd smells in your laundry or in your laundry room. If your clothing or your laundry room inexplicably has a musty smell or a burning smell, or smells strongly of dryer sheets, your dryer vents should be checked.
  • A buildup of lint in the lint trap or around the external dryer vent. If lint can’t exit your dryer into the vents, it doesn’t have anywhere to go, so it will back up into your dryer and into your dryer’s lint trap. Similarly, dryer lint may blow out of the dryer exhaust outside your home.
  • A dryer vent flap that doesn’t open or close when the dryer is running. When your dryer is “breathing” properly, the flap on the exterior of your home should open and close as the dryer exhausts its heat. If the flap is immobile, it is a sign that the vent is blocked.

If your dryer is showing any of the signs of clogged dryer vents, call Total Chimney Care today! We will clean and inspect your dryer vents to keep your dryer operating safely and reduce your risk of a dangerous dryer fire.

By Steve Sobczak on July 13th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Keep Your Dryer Vents Safe

There’s a danger lurking in your home that you probably don’t know about: Your clothing dryer and dryer vents. Each year, clothing dryers cause 2,900 home fires, leading to $35 million in property damage, 100 injuries and five deaths. In 34 percent of those fires, clogged dryer vents were to blame.

Fire Safe Dryer Vents - New Haven - Fairfield CT- Total chimney Care LLC-w800-h800
Why dryer vent cleaning matters

Each time you dry a load of clothing or linens, lint is pulled from the material and through your dryer’s ventilation system. Some of it is caught by the lint trap you’re likely familiar with cleaning between loads. More lint escapes bypass the lint trap and begin to coat the inside of your dryer vents. Vents also can be blocked by small animals that make their way in from the outside or by plants that grow up into the vent’s outlet. If the vents become blocked, the highly flammable lint inside can overheat and ignite, causing a fire. The lint also can prevent carbon dioxide from escaping your dryer, forcing it back into your home and putting your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. It also prevents your dryer from operating efficiently and can reduce its lifespan. Dryer vent cleaning sweeps away lint and makes sure there are no other blockages or weaknesses in the dryer vent system.

When to have your dryer vent cleaned

Because of the risk blocked dryer vents pose to your home, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having dryer vents cleaned once per year. If you do a high volume of laundry, you should consider having your vents cleaned even more often.

Additionally, there are other signs that your dryer vents might be overdue for a cleaning. When dryer vents are clogged or partially blocked off, drying times will increase. If you notice your loads of laundry taking longer to dry, that’s a major sign your dryer vents need to be cleaned. Other signs include: laundry that seems very hot to the touch, a significant increase in the temperature of the laundry room when the dryer is running, a burning smell when the dryer is running, or the smell of dryer sheets that seems stronger than normal. If your dryer vents are blocked, you also might notice an increase in the buildup of lint in the dryer, or dryer lint debris around the dryer vent. On the outside of the house, the dryer vent flap should flutter open and closed when the dryer is running.

If you haven’t had your dryer vents cleaned within the last year, or if you notice any of the warning signs that your dryer vents might be clogged, call Total Chimney Care to schedule a dryer vent cleaning appointment today! We’ll clear your dryer vents to reduce the risk of a dryer fire and increase the efficiency of your dryer.

By Steve Sobczak on March 24th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment