When left unmaintained, dryer vents can cause fires which do not only damage properties but can also be life-threatening. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, over 15,600 dryer fires occur every year, causing millions worth of damage to properties. The main cause of these fires is the lint in the appliance’s heating element.
Because of this, some insurance companies and fire departments now require dryer ducts to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. There are a lot of companies that offer annual or semi-annual dryer duct and vent cleaning service in order to help individuals and companies meet requirements and prevent potential issues in the long run.
Aside from fire prevention, a well-maintained vent will allow your dryer to operate more efficiently and promote energy and cost savings. It can also prevent damage to your clothes because of excessive heat, and prolong the lifespan of your dryer because a dirty vent will require the appliance to work twice as hard.
How Dryer Vents Cause Fire
When lint in the dryer vent and ducts affect the operation of the appliance and air flow, drying time becomes longer and the motor tends to overheat. The lint underneath the dryer can then easily catch fire and the air draft can draw the fire up into the dryer ducts. When not maintained on a regular basis, the ducts will also be coated or clogged with lint, thereby causing fire.
Other causes of dryer fires include problems with the thermostat and limit switch, presence of lint inside the appliance, a broken hose behind the dryer, debris that block the vent, or a damaged lint screen.
Signs That Your Property is at Risk of Dryer Fire
Here are some of the signs that your home or establishment may be at risk of a dryer fire:
- Your dryer ducts and vent have not been inspected or cleaned in over a year.
- The length of the dryer duct is over 25 feet and air flow is slow.
- You use the dryer frequently.
- The duct of your dryer is made of flexible plastic or vinyl, which burns easily.
- Your dryer has flexible foil ducts that can restrict air flow. It is recommended to use solid metal tubing that has a diameter of around 4 inches.
- It takes longer than usual for your clothes become dry, particularly those which are made of heavy material.
- After a drying cycle, the clothes are hotter than usual.
- When you turn on the dryer, the flap of the vent hood does not open.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Dryer Vent Cleaning Company
When choosing a reliable professional to handle your vent cleaning LV area, it is important to thoroughly understand what the company has to offer. Below are some things to consider before making your final decision:
- The experience of the service provider with your type of property
Although all dryer vents have the same purpose, the frequency of usage of the dryer and the requirements for the service will differ. For instance, a commercial dryer used for a laundry facility involves more usage and will require the service to be completed at a certain schedule and in accordance to business safety regulations. Meanwhile, a dryer in a residential property will require the service to be completed according to the unique needs of the occupants. With this, it is important to make sure that the professional has prior experience servicing your type of property.
- How quickly the professional can respond
The speed of service delivery is important because delaying the maintenance of your dryer vent can potentially cause hazards to your building or household. It is recommended to choose a company that can quickly respond to short notice requests.
- The type of training the professionals undergo
The main reason for hiring a service provider is to ensure that your dryer vent is cleaned by someone who actually knows how to do it properly. Hence, you must choose a professional who has undergone relevant training and is certified to do the job. Otherwise, why not just do it yourself?
Your dryer vent is indeed an important component that shouldn’t be disregarded. While it is possible to clean it on your own, it is more practical and safer to have an expert inspect your dryer and perform the necessary maintenance tasks. Furthermore, a professional will also know if you need to replace certain parts or your dryer altogether and prevent further damage, expenses, or hazards.