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5 Reasons To Have Your Dryer Vent Professionally Cleaned

Updated: Mar 11

Providing property maintenance service in and around the Magic Valley, for over 7 years, has given us a unique insight into what we used to think was common routine maintenance. I can't tell you how many times we have been called out to service a dryer that is not working properly only to find lint traps inside the dryer completely packed with lint. Most people know that the lint trap inside the dryer needs cleaned out after every load of laundry to prevent wear and tear, prolong the life of the dryer and shorten drying times. But, it got us wondering if people knew how much of that lint isn't trapped in the lint trap and instead passes through the trap and sticks inside of the duct work that runs from the dryer to the exterior of the home. After time, the lint collects moisture and more and more lint until the lint in the dryer duct is restricting the air flow from the dryer to the exterior of the home. It seems obvious that a dryer will not work as well when the airflow is restricted and prevents air and moisture from flowing to the exterior vent but there are more reasons to have your dryer vents and ducts cleaned than just drying clothes efficiently. Here are 5 other reasons to have your dryer vents professionally cleaned:

  1. Reduce your risk of fire

The obvious benefit of having a professional dryer vent cleaning is to reduce your fire risk. In understanding how a dryer vent gets dirty; you first need to understand what your dryer is doing every time it is used. When you put a load of clothes in your dryer there are three fire creating components, lint, heat, and moisture. The heat, friction, and garments in your dryer will create lint that will collect in your dryer’s filter, and some will go through your exhaust vent. Lint by itself is highly flammable. Next, the heat in your dryer which is either created by electric or gas elements, can create the spark for a fire if not functioning correctly or poorly maintained. Finally, the moisture or humidity from the drying process will cause lint to stick in places it should not, and that is reason why your dryer has a lint filter. Unfortunately, a lint filter will not capture all the lint and will fail if not cleaned properly. While cleaning the dryer trap yourself is a good start, it’s no substitute for a deep professional cleaning.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 17,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year. These clothes dryer fires cause around 51 deaths, 380 injuries, and $236 million in property loss. Unsurprisingly, the leading cause of these fires, at 34%, is the failure to clean dryer vents.

Another safety issue that we find when cleaning and servicing dryer vents is that some property owners will attach vent cages over their dryer vents at the exterior of the home. Although vent cages are a great way to prevent pests from entering the home through vents, they should NEVER be used to cover a dryer vent because this will cause the lint to catch in the cage and completely clog the vent causing a fire hazard for you and your family.

2. Lower Energy Bills

Who doesn't want to lower their energy bill? Saving money and lowering energy usage is something that could benefit us all. Keeping your dryer running at its peak capacity is one way to lower energy costs. When a dryer struggles to dry clothes because of clogged dryer vents, the dryer will run longer and hotter. t's estimated that clean

ing your dryer vent once a year can lead to annual energy bill savings of up to $288. And after all, a penny saved is a penny earned! Money is always a great motivator.

3. Longer Dryer Life

We already pointed out that a clogged vent means a less efficient drying cycle. If your dryer is running longer than normal or more than one cycle per load, your slowly decreasing the life of your dryer. It’s essentially working double-time!

A dryer that is overworked will add considerable wear and tear to your machine. This could lead to malfunctions and needed repairs. Allowing your dryer to run this way can also cause a complete breakdown of your machine over time.

4. Keep Moldy Stink Off Of Your Clothes

Have you ever pulled clean clothes from the dryer only to find they don't have that freshly washed smell but instead smell moldy? If your dryer vent is clogged, moisture can condense into pools of water in the dryer vent. It then mixes with excess lint, creating a maché that sticks to the vent walls. This not only clogs the vent further, but also creates perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow. A damaged or leaking vent may also lead to mold growth in your walls, attic, or crawl space. If you smell mold or mildew on your clothing, in your dryer, or in your laundry room after running the dryer, it is likely that your dryer vent system is not functioning properly. This type of warning sign typically comes from an obstructed or clogged dryer vent and means it is time to have your dryer vent professionally cleaned. Keep allergens and mold at bay by having your dryer vents cleaned no less than once per year.

5. Keep Your Clothes From Wearing Out

Every time your clothing is thrown into the dryer, it loses a small fraction of its quality. This is because heat deteriorates the small fibers within the clothing, causing it to become stretched and worn.

Now, there isn't much you can do to prevent this from happening (short of foregoing a dryer entirely) but there is something you can do to slow down the process. Namely, you can clean your dryer vent on a regular basis.

As was noted above, a dirty dryer vent makes for an inefficient dryer. An inefficient dryer has to run longer than an efficient dryer. So, when clothing gets thrown into an inefficient dryer, your clothes are subject to more wear and tear per drying session. In other words, they are meeting an early demise.

In short, a good rule of thumb is to have your dryer exhaust vents inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once per year. However, if you have a household that uses your dryer often, such as one with a lot of children, you may want to consider increasing that amount to every six months. Schedule today to have your dryer vents cleaned and inspected by the professionals at One Call Property Solutions, LLC.

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