When it comes to maintaining your home, some things are absolutely crucial, but are often those things that most commonly get neglected. One of those things is dryer vent cleaning. Yes, I know you clean out your link trap every single time you dry a load of laundry, but the ventilation system behind it is actually the most important part of the dryer, and it needs to be cleaned by a professional like those of us at At Your Service Air Conditioning and Heating at least once a year. This is not merely a suggestion, it is an absolute imperative, and here’s why.
Dryer vents are the second leading cause of fires in the home. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a formal alert in 2016 because according to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Data Center statistics, they found that 15,500 clothes dryer fires occur annually, resulting in an average of 10 deaths, 310 injuries, and over $84 million in property damage!
If that’s not scaring you enough, here are some other good reasons you want your dryer vents cleaned by a professional on a regular basis:
- Gas Fumes: 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.
- Higher Energy Bills: 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.
- Shorter Dryer Lifespan: If your dryer is taking twice as long to dry clothes, it’s being used twice as much, essentially cutting its life span in half.
- Shorter Clothing Lifespan: When your dryer takes longer to dry clothes, then those clothes are in the dryer longer, and this causes more wear and tear on those clothes shortening their lifespan as well.
- Critters will nest: When the lint buildup in your dryer vent becomes too much, the duct hood flap doesn’t close properly allowing for an avenue for critters to make their home in the vent or crawl through it to get inside your home. Here in Southwest Florida we have plenty of critters that would love to get out of the heat and into your home!
Here are a few warning signs that indicate that your dryer vent isn’t working properly, and may be clogged.
- Longer drying cycles: The first sign is your laundry takes longer than usual to completely dry. Dryers work by removing hot, moist air, so if something is preventing that air from getting out, your laundry will probably need a few extra cycles to dry.
- Laundry room is hotter than usual: If the hot air mentioned above isn’t able to escape, it could also result in your laundry room, dryer or clothes themselves being unusually warm.
- Funny smell: If you notice that your clothes have a strange smell, this could also be a sign that your dryer is not ventilating properly.
To put it simply, having your dryer exhaust vent cleaned on a regular basis will reduce the risk of fire, reduce energy costs and utility bills, and reduce drying times, which saves wear and tear on your clothing. Having a professional from At Your Service Air Conditioning and Heating clean your dryer vent should be put on your To Do List at least once a year. Give us a call at 239-565-9433.