When it comes to protecting our homes and families against fire, most of us follow basic safety rules. However, there is one appliance in your home that could be hiding a hidden fire hazard: your dryer. Even if the dryer itself is in good condition, clogged dryer vents can cause a fire that can quickly spread to the rest of your home. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that clogged dryer vents are responsible for more than 15,000 dryer fires each year. These fires cost homeowners more than $200 million in damages, as well as hundreds of injuries. Thankfully, the risk of dryer fire can be greatly reduced – if not eliminated – through regular dryer vent cleanings. Having your dryer vents professionally cleaned can give you the peace of mind that you and your family are protected against dryer vent fires.

How clogged vents cause firesClogged Dryer Vents Are a Fire Hazard - Evergreen, CO - Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney Inc.

Everyone knows the importance of removing lint from the lint trap after every dryer load. However, far fewer know that the same lint that accumulates in the lint trap is also in your dryer vents, lines, and hoses. Over time, lint and debris can accumulate inside dryer hoses and vents. When this happens, it begins to constrict the airflow to the dryer. In order for the dryer to continue operation, it is forced to produce hotter and hotter air to compensate. The worst the clogs get, the hotter the air the dryer produces; if allowed to continue, the superheated air can cause the extremely flammable lint to ignite and start a fire.

Cleaning dryer vents

The best way to remove any lint or debris accumulation from your dryer vents and hoses is to have them professionally cleaned . Professional dryer vent cleaning not only ensures that your hoses and lines are free from lint, but also checks for problems such as crushed, kinked, or knotted hoses. In addition to helping your dryer operate more safely, having your dryer vents cleaned can also help your dryer run more efficiently. Clogged vents can overwork your dryer, sometimes to the point of it seeming like the dryer is no longer working properly. Instead of heading to the store to find a new dryer, call a professional to clean your dryer vents. It can renew your dryer’s efficiency and help you save money on monthly energy bills – as well as the cost of a brand new appliance.

Signs your vents may be clogged

As long as they’re emptying the lint trap, most homeowners assume their house is protected against dryer fire. However, your dryer may be giving you signs that its vents need to be cleaned. The following are five signs that it is time to have your dryer vents cleaned.

  • Clothes take longer than one full cycle to dry completely
  • The clothes or the exterior of the dryer are too hot to touch after use
  • The interior of the dryer or clothes have a noticeable musty odor
  • More and more lint begins to accumulate in the lint trap each load
  • Lint or other debris can be seen around dryer vent openings

Most of us cannot remember the last time we had our dryer vents cleaned – if ever. Take the steps to protect your family against dryer vent fire by calling Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today.