One of the most scariest things that can happen to you and your family is a house fire. One of the leading causes of house fires is lent catching on fire in your dryer vents. Below are a few key signs that you need to clean your dryer vents. With just a few steps, you can avoid a house fire by cleaning them or having professionals come out to inspect and clean them for you. Don't take the risk, clean them out now!
1 Hour+ Drying Times
Drying a load of laundry should only take about an hour or less. If you have a clogged vent, it might take a couple of extra cycles to get your clothes dry. The moist air during the drying process must be circulated out and is the reason why dryer vents are important to have. Because you have to do multiple drying cycles, it increases your energy bills and wears out your machine.
After leaving your dryer on for a little while and you come back and your dryer is warm or hot that is not a good sign. Having a hot dryer means that there is not great air flow either in the machine (dryer vents are clogged) or there is bad circulation in your laundry room. Some newer machines will automatically turn off if the machine gets too hot. If this happens, the main problem could be that your dryer vents are clogged. Make sure that you store your washer and dryer in a room that has good circulation and has extra room for air circulation or is not crammed in a small closet with the door closed.
If you smell something funny while your dryer is on, it could be lint or plastics getting too hot. Your dryer can reach high temperatures. Lint is also very flammable and can catch on fire with the hot air. If you start to smell any type of burning smell turn off the machine ASAP as it is a main sign that a fire will start. If you get to this point, we recommend to have a professional come out and inspect the dryer to help you clean your vents or find other damages or problems.
Outside Vent Covers
If you find pieces of vent on the outside of your home near the outside vent cover, that is another sign that your vents are clogged. Make sure that there is good air flow on the outside of your house for the hot air to escape. Make sure to clean any extra lint around and inside the cover.
The air vent cover holes are around 4 inches wide. Sometimes, animals and critters like birds can build nests in this area. Make sure that is cleared from animals and that there is some type of netting or bird guard over the opening.
It's Been Longer Than a Year
We recommend to clean your vents either two times per year or at least once a year to avoid any damages or clogging. Having the ductwork cleaned and inspected can save you energy and have your dryer work more efficiently. We do warn you that cleaning vents is not an easy and is a dirty job. If not done properly, you could ruin the ductwork or puncture holes throughout the tubing. If you don't feel comfortable cleaning them, give us a call and we can inspect and clean your dryer vents for you.
Bonus Tips: Size of Your Loads and Lint Catcher
Make sure you clean your lint catcher after every load. This is your first line of defense for air circulation and you want to make sure that it is clear before you start a new load.
Another great tip is to make sure that you are also not over stuffing your washer and dryer with clothes. Dryers are made to have more capacity inside compared to washers so that when the clothes are getting tumbled around there is enough space for clothing to move around and have the moisture leave the fabrics.