The U.S. Fire Administration claims that 2,900 fires are caused by home clothes dryers each year. They estimate that these fires cause approximately five deaths a year, injuries of 100 people, and around $35 million in property damages. Those are scary statistics.
The majority of home clothes dryer fires can be avoided by routine dryer maintenance, including vent and duct cleaning. The lint from the clothes gets trapped within the vents and ducts of clothes dryers. This lint is extremely flammable and can ignite if it is causing a blockage in the ducting. The heat of the dryer itself can get hot enough to cause a very dangerous dryer fire.
A smoke detector and fire extinguisher should be installed in the vicinity of any clothes dryer. It is also recommended that dryers not be run while the household is asleep or not home.
Clothes dryers that are not properly maintained and cleaned become extremely inefficient. Lint and debris within the ducting and vent do not allow proper airflow. This causes the clothes to take much longer to dry than usual. The longer the dryer has to run, the more electricity or natural gas it requires. If someone notices that the dryer is taking longer than usual or their utilities bill is higher than usual, they should have their dryer inspected and cleaned.
Dryer ducts and vents should be inspected and cleaned annually, depending on the usage of the appliance. Some people who use their dryer a lot will need to have their units cleaned more frequently. In some households, the clothes dryer gets used more in some seasons than others, which can also be taken into account when scheduling future dryer maintenance appointments.
DIY or Hire a Professional
It is recommended that the dryer lint trap be checked and cleaned before each use. This is something that anyone can do.
Although cleaning out the ducting and vents of a clothes dryer seems like a good do-it-yourself project, a professional dryer vent and duct cleaning service ( alliance-enviro.com/services/duct-hood-cleaning/dryer-vent-cleaning ) should be called in at least once a year. Professionals have specialized equipment and knowledge that will ensure a thorough cleaning. They also have the knowledge to inspect and repair any problems they come across. It is best for safety and the longevity of the appliance to have a professional cleaning and inspection annually.
How to Choose a Reputable Dryer Maintenance Company
There are so many companies that advertise cleaning and maintaining dryers, vents, and ducts. If dryer servicing is required, the customer should seek out a company ( https://info.alliance-enviro.com/blog ) that has many years of experience in the field. They should also check to make sure that the company is certified by a third party, like the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Also look for companies that employ Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians.