What You May Not Know About Dryer Vents

Dryer vent cleaning is one of those services that people either never think about or think they can easily do themselves or just shrug off as an unnecessary service. Unfortunately, some people who have not thought about it at all or thought this way have suffered loss of property, home and sometimes lives in fires that could have been prevented by simply having their dryer vent cleaned on an annual basis. The cost between having the vents cleaned and potential losses are not even comparable.

That’s why Total Chimney Care has decided to make this one of the core services outside of the chimney services we already provide. We use many of the same types of tools when we sweep chimneys so it just makes sense to also help prevent fires in dryers.

What’s The Problem?

In a nutshell, the problem is lint. Though your dryer collects lint in the lint trap, it does not get it all. The lint that remains is vented out to the atmosphere through the vent that is usually attached to the back of your dryer. However, it is not enough to just remove the section between the dryer and the wall, the entire length of the run has to be swept out, not just blown. This has to do with the way lint attaches itself to the walls of the vent, kind of like it does at the bottom of your jeans pocket!

When you combine lint and heat, you have a potential fire because lint is extremely flammable. It’s one of the best fire starters according to the Boy Scouts manual and they recommend carrying it when you go on camping trips, which we think is a good use for it.

What To Look For

There are several things to look for that may be a sign that lint has built up in the vent. The first is that it takes your dryer too long to dry a load of clothes. You have to turn your dryer on multiple times in order to get the clothes dry. The other is just pulling out the dryer from the wall and checking the portion of the vent you can see by removing the end attached to the dryer and just looking in. If there is any lint buildup in this area then it is likely there is lint throughout the run. DO NOT stick anything in the dryer if you see lint there as there are electrical issues and you don’t want to mess with that.

Give us a call and get us scheduled to come out and get this annual chore out of the way so you can safely run your dryer.