The most dangerous month for home fire safety has passed, but there are still several weeks left in winter. Home fires are considered by the American Red Cross to be America’s biggest disaster threat and house fires peak in December and January. This doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing though. There are many risks in the home that need to be handled in order to maintain safety for the rest of winter. Your dryer vent is one of them.
U.S. Clothes Dryer Fires
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are about 2,900 clothes dryer fires each year and they cause 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss! The leading cause of these fires? The reports blame one thing over all others—failure to clean the dryer. The fact is that the majority of these devastating fires are preventable, and you can prevent them in your home this winter.
Dryer Vent Safety
Dryer safety is so important in home fire prevention that the Chimney Safety Institute of America has a training credential called the Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician (CDET) that trains and certifies technicians on dryer vent safety standards and codes. Many of the important facts about dryer exhaust safety are unknown to homeowners.
- Dryer ducts should be at least 4” in diameter and as large as the dryer outlet.
- Unless specified by the manufacturer or local code, the length of your exhaust duct should not exceed 25 feet (each 90-degree turn adds 5 feet to total length).
- Dryer vents should be independent of other systems and terminate outside the house structure.
- The dryer exhaust vent termination hood should have a backdraft damper to prevent a return to the dryer duct.
- Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and exhaust duct.
- Flexible transition ducts are not safe for use in the attic, crawl space, or inside walls.
Did you know these important dryer facts? Not many homeowners do. That is why every home clothes dryer unit should be installed by a certified dryer exhaust technician. Most homeowners just have the units delivered and start using it right away. The more it’s used though, the more unsafe it becomes as the improperly installed vents fill with lint buildup and become inefficient.
Dryer Vent Cleaning in Shreveport
Residents in and around Shreveport, Louisiana can rest easy knowing their dryer vents are safe and clean, and once they are, utility bills will decrease as well. Your unit will last longer, and you’ll need less frequent repairs.
Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Attention
- Your dryer heats up your home when it runs. This is a sign that the vent is blocked and excess heat isn’t exiting the unit through the vent. When the vent isn’t working properly the dryer unit itself will be hot to the touch and the clothes will be too hot to handle when finished. These high temperatures can raise your home’s temperature year-round and ruin your clothes.
- Moisture and lint cover surfaces in your laundry room and your home. Like the excess heat, moisture and lint should travel through the dryer vent duct and out of the system. If it is being pushed into the home there is a serious blockage. This moisture and microscopic lint particles can affect your breathable air, damage walls and furniture, and more.
- Your lint trap is empty. The lint trap should be emptied after every cycle of the dryer. If there is no lint present when it’s emptied, it’s a sign of a blockage. When the dryer vent is blocked, air will not move through the system which means no lint will be left on the lint screen after the cycle.
- The dryer produces a burning odor when it runs. The burning smell may not mean a fire is present in the dryer vent, but it does mean that temperatures are too high and for a reason! There is a block in the vent.
- It takes more than one cycle to complete a moderate load. If your clothes dryer vent is blocked, it will be less efficient and will work harder to remove moisture from your clothes. They may be hot, but they will still be damp after one cycle, usually requiring two or three to get the job done. This not only uses two to three times more electricity than you should for one load of laundry, but it also decreased the life of your dryer unit and puts your home at risk with each cycle of the dryer.
If your clothes dryer isn’t performing as it should, there is likely a clog in the dryer vent. Many homeowners assume a problem with the dryer is due to the age of a unit, but this is a dangerous assumption. According to manufacturers, these units are designed to last ten years and any unit less than five years old that works improperly is most likely due to a clog in the vent.
Don’t use a dryer that will put your home and family at risk. Save money right away by having the dryer vents cleans.
Call or schedule online with New Buck Chimney Services today.