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Dryer Vent Safety

Did you know that dryer vent fires are one of the leading causes of house fires? Thousands of house fires occur to this neglected part of your home that is easily preventable with a dryer vent cleaning. Here are some more facts on dryer vent fires:

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To have your dryer vent cleaned or inspected, contact the experts at Total Chimney Care today.

By Steve Sobczak on September 22nd, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Schedule Your Chimney Sweep and Dryer Vent Cleaning Together

helpful_tips_total_chimney_care_milford_ctAs the warm weather and days of splashing in the pool fade away, fall and winter are suddenly right around the corner. Our minds quickly forget the memories of summer and instead look ahead to all the joys of the end of the year. From pumpkin carving to snowman building and holiday celebrating, fall and winter are times of excitement and family fun. Those chilly East Coast nights quickly give way to blankets of snow, and you are in the very throes of the season.

Many homeowners start to think about getting their fireplaces up and running right around this time of the year. As temperatures start to drop, some people want to run the fireplace to keep the house warm. Others simply enjoy the tranquil ambiance offered by a warm, crackling fire on a gray, winter evening. Whatever the reason for using the fireplace, having a mason out to inspect and sweep the chimney beforehand is an excellent practice.

Because fireplaces have a set time of the year that people use them, most homeowners find it easier to remember to have the chimney cleaned and inspected every year. It is much easier to forget to maintain home appliances that you use year round, such as your clothes dryer. The dryer also needs a cleaning and inspection at least once per year, but many people overlook the quiet, reliable machine. As a way to help you remember, schedule a dryer vent cleaning along with the chimney sweep and inspection. The same serviceperson may even be able to complete both jobs on the same day.

According to the US Fire Administration, having the dryer vent cleaned is vital to the safety of your home and your family. While cleaning the lint trap inside the machine is a good start, the vent that lets the hot air escape your home also needs attention. Over time, lint, debris and even animals build up inside the vent. Sometimes the vent itself needs to be replaced too, because it has experienced unsafe amounts of wear and tear.

Damaged parts of an old vent can also grab large amounts of lint and debris. Any obstructions like these in the vent collect the hot air as it tries to leave the house, and because lint is highly flammable, this significantly increases the risk of fire in your home. In fact, between 2008 and 2010, an average of nearly 3,000 dryer fires was reported each year to the U.S. Fire Administration, and the majority of the fires were caused by failure to properly maintain the unit.

If you live in the area of New Haven, Connecticut, contact Total Care Chimney for a professional consultation. Total Care can provide you with expert servicing for both your chimney and your dryer vent. Do not hesitate to call because your safety counts on it.

The Importance of an Annual Dryer Vent Cleaning

clothes_dryer_total_chimney_care_milford_ctMany of our customers at Total Chimney Care are surprised to learn that their clothes dryer vent should be professionally cleaned once a year. An easily forgotten maintenance task, neglecting to thoroughly clean your dryer vent annually can lead to a dangerous house fire. As stated by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), 15,000 fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries caused by dirty clothes dryer vents were reported to the US Fire Administration each year between 2002 and 2004. To be sure your dryer is not a fire hazard, an annual professional cleaning of the vent is important for the safety of your house and family. We would like to share with you some of the reasons behind the importance of this yearly maintenance step.

A Dirty Clothes Dryer Vent Can Decrease the Efficiency of Your Dryer.

When your dryer vent is clogged with lint and debris, your clothes dryer will not work as well as it should. You may notice clothes still being wet or damp after going through a full drying cycle. This is one of the main signs of a dirty vent and should be a clear signal that your vent needs cleaning. When you must use your dryer at its highest temperature, it decreases the life of the appliance and can also lead to your heating element burning out or a fire igniting.

Dirty Dryer Vents Can Also Lead to the Possibility of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

If you have a gas-powered clothes dryer, you must be sure that it is properly vented and that its exhaust vent is free from blockages from lint and debris. If there are venting problems or blockages, carbon monoxide can be forced back into the home. If you do not have an alarm for carbon monoxide, you could may never realize you are breathing in carbon monoxide until it is too late because this toxic gas is odorless and tasteless. Even if you have an electric dryer, you still have the possibility of carbon monoxide leaks due to a dirty vent.

The Locations of Dryers in Newer Homes Necessitate Annual Dryer Vent Cleaning and Inspecting.

The complex construction of newer homes is placing dryers in bathrooms, kitchens, closets, and other locations with no outside wall. This means a longer venting system must be installed and usually contains bends. This type of venting is harder to access, and its additional length provides more space for lint accumulation as well as a spot for animals and birds to hide. An annual dryer vent cleaning is especially important in these incidents to protect your home from a possible fire.

Just Because You Clean Your Dryer Vent Filter from Lint After Each Load Does Not Mean You Do Not Need an Annual Professional Vent Cleaning.

Although routine removal of lint from the dryer vent can reduce the risk of fire by 90%, you still need to schedule a professional cleaning of the dryer vent every year. Large clogs of lint can be found in the venting ducts as well as in the inner side of the wall. To ensure proper cleaning of your dryer’s venting system, you need to call a CSIA-certified dryer exhaust technician from Total Chimney Care to do this task for you.

If you would like to schedule an appointment for your annual dryer vent cleaning, contact Total Chimney Care today. We can send our CSIA-certified technicians to your home to be sure your clothes dryer is not a fire hazard.

By Steve Sobczak on September 18th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

The Importance of Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

Poorly performing vents add to the expense of operating the dryer, since it takes longer to get things dry. Undisturbed dryer vents make attractive homes for animals that turn them into deadly ones for all involved. If neither of those suffices to impress you with their importance, dryer vents that are not in good condition threaten your family’s safety.

Dryer Vent - New Haven CT - Total Chimney Care

How Important Is That?

Unclean and damaged dryer vents are primary contributors to house fires because ordinary vacuums usually cannot clean them. Only an extremely short and straight vent to the outdoors can be properly cleaned without special equipment. That kind of venting is increasingly rare, with more vents commonly running long distances and making lots of turns.

An expanding problem due to urban density that places dryers in central closets, convoluted dryer vents add a little danger with every turn they make. Every corner is another place for lint and other debris to accumulate, and all of it is in there with heated air. Even heat is slower to escape the house when it has to navigate a more complicated route.

New home construction that does not pre-determine the laundry room’s location can also lead to long, jointed vents. In short, the task of cleaning a dryer vent has become more complicated for homeowners, and renters are more at the mercy of landlords. The majority of dryer vents just cannot be easily cleaned and inspected, but – for the same reason – they need it more than ever.

Of Major Major Importance

It is another of life’s “Catch 22”s for more and more people…the very vents that need more cleaning are ‘impossible’ to clean. The importance of doing it regularly and properly is why professionals exist to handle it and equipment is made to assist them. Keep energy bills down and your safety up with routine attention to that tricky dryer vent. Why risk doing it wrong when you can call a pro who can safely keep it clean.

By Steve Sobczak on April 28th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment