Did you have your dryer vent professionally installed? Most homeowners do not. Most homeowners purchase the clothes dryer and schedule a store delivery—but this is not a professional installation! Dryer vents have specific safety guidelines, many of which are included in residential fire codes. For instance, did you know:
- Dryer ducts must be 4” in diameter (as large as the dryer outlet)
- Dryer vent ducts should not exceed 25 feet (every 90-degree turn counts for 5 feet)
- Dryer vents are independent systems that do not terminate into other systems, crawlspaces, basements, or attics
- The outside termination hood should have a backdraft damper
- Metal transition ducts should be installed between the dryer and exhaust duct
- Flexible transition ducts should never be used in attics, crawl spaces, or inside walls
Clothes Dryer Fires in the U.S.
In the U.S., there are 2,900 home clothes dryer fires reported each year. These fires have resulted in 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss each year thus far. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the leading cause of these devastating fires is failure to clean them.
However, cleaning the vent trap alone is not enough. Microscopic particles get through the lint trap, can fill the ductwork, back up into the dryer, and result in a fire that puts your home and family at risk.
Signs You Need a Dryer Vent Cleaning
You may need a dryer vent cleaning and not even know about it. Like many, you may assume the problems are due to a worn-out dryer. In most cases, a dryer’s performance problem is due to a maintenance problem. Some of the problems could be:
- The dryer takes more than one cycle – This should never occur in dryers that are less than three years old. Your new clothes dryer should last ten years, according to manufacturers, and if it has a performance problem, it’s likely due to a clogged duct.
- The dryer is hot to the touch – If the dryer, laundry room, or clothes are extremely hot during the cycle and after, your dryer has a ventilation problem. This excess heat should be leaving the dryer by way of the vent duct.
- The laundry room is covered in condensation – Again, the water vapors should be leaving the dryer by way of the dryer vent. If it is backing up into the house, it is a dangerous problem!
What You Can Do
The first thing you should do is check the outlet to ensure the hood is opening and closing while the dryer runs. If it isn’t, discontinue use of your dryer until maintenance is complete. Next, schedule a dryer vent cleaning with a professional. This is a job that some people choose to do themselves, but when you hire a professional to clean the dryer vents, the system is checked properly for damage and safety. This is an important service, especially if it’s never been performed. A clean dryer vent will not only save you money, but it will also prevent clothes dryer fires. When you stop running the dryer for two or three cycles for one load, you will save two or three times the money in utilities, and two or three times the life of your dryer!
Call New Buck today at 318-674-2825 or click here and include your dryer in your spring cleaning as well.