Dryer Vent cleaning not only allows your dryer to run more efficiently, but it’s essential for preventing dryer fires. They are to blame for over 13,000 house fires every year in the United States. That’s a scary statistic considering that each dryer fire doesn’t need to happen.
Proper Dryer Maintenance
One of the required steps during a Preventative Maintenance procedure (PM) for dryers in the Fort Wayne area is the technician cleans the vent or a qualified third party performs the dryer vent cleaning. In fact, they do not consider the PM complete until it’s confirmed the vent is clear.
After they confirm the vent is clear and not kinked or crushed, they check the airflow through the dryer and the vent, following it to the end. If a dryer vent is too long, the back pressure developed by the dryer blower motor mimics the effects of a blocked dryer vent. That creates a similar, but bigger problem.
Lint buildup inside the dryer is a mystery for many homeowners. They don’t understand the principle of dryer ventilation. It’s this lack of understanding that prevents a dryer from receiving essential PMs that leads to lint gradually building up inside the dryer, close to the heat source. If enough time goes by and the lint continues to build, it can catch fire inside the dryer because it’s too close to the dryer heater. The red-hot heater ignites the lint, and a dryer fire starts.
Preventing Dryer Fires
Dryer fires caused by lint are easy to prevent, but homeowners must follow a regular PM schedule that includes a dryer vent cleaning. They must ensure the dryer always receives proper ventilation.
Users need to remember to clean the lint screen before or after each load without fail. A dryer reacts to a dirty lint screen similarly as a blocked vent. It’s blocked airflow, meaning airborne lint cannot escape the dryer and ends up landing inside, near the heat source.
For efficient and safe operation, a dryer (electric or gas) must have a 4-inch diameter vent running from the rear of the dryer to the outdoors, with no blockages anywhere, including the end that exhausts warm air outdoors.
Underwriters’ Laboratory issued several recommendations over the years about the length of vent and how it affects efficient operation of the dryer. Ideally, the vent must be as short as possible, without bends or turns. A vent that is 10 feet long is good. One that is 30 feet long prevents the dryer blower motor from pushing air that distance. The effect is leftover lint inside the dryer, once again increasing the chance of a future dryer fire.
A 4-inch diameter vent that is the correct length will remove nearly all the lint from the dryer during each use. With a clean lint screen and clear vent, the dryer’s efficiency is at the highest level. That means faster drying clothes, towels, and blankets, too.
Warning Signs of Blocked Airflow
If you notice your clothes take longer to dry than normal, aside from a defective heater inside the dryer, it’s likely you have a vent problem. That’s a sign to call Dusty Brothers in Fort Wayne right away and have them diagnose the situation.
Another sign of blocked or restricted air flow is the surface temperature of your dryer. If it feels unusually warm and moist or it’s hot to the touch on top, that’s a sure sign of blocked air flow.