What are the dangers of a dirty dryer duct?

When was the last time you checked your dryer vents? Your dryer is one of the essential appliances in your home, but it could also be one of the most dangerous items if you don’t take proper care of it. Every time you load the laundry dryer, lint & debri builds up. You clean the lint trap when using the dryer, but that’s not all. Air needs to move freely inside the dryer and dryer duct so it can dry your clothes. Like other appliances in your house, your dryer needs regular maintenance to function correctly. By cleaning your dryer vents routinely yourself or hiring a professional to do so, you can prevent the risk of a house fire and other dangers.

Here are five dangers why homeowners should avoid dirty dryer ducts:
1. Dirty dryer vents can cause home fires.
In a 2020 report from the National Fire Protection Association, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,820 home fires each year where the fires ignited from the dryers. The fires caused an average of seven civilian deaths, 344 civilian injuries, and $233 million in direct property damage annually.
Failure to clean dryer ducts caused thirty-two percent of the reported dryer fires. Every time you dump a load of laundry into the dryer, lint sticks within the walls of the dryer vents. If heat cannot escape beyond the lint blockages, heat is trapped and builds up and can cause the lint or the clothes to ignite. Lint is flammable, and dryer fires can quickly spread into your dryer vents and walls. It’s just a matter of seconds before a tiny flame can explode into a massive blaze.
2. Dirty dryer ducts can increase your electric bills.
When your dryer ducts are clogged, it creates a rippling effect. Your dryer can’t work efficiently, and clothes take longer to dry. This also means your dryer will have to work harder, and you have to add more dryer cycles to get your laundry completely dry. Naturally, the more dryer cycles you use, the more power you use. Don’t be surprised to see a significant increase in your electric bills.
Also, putting your clothes will wear out or shrink faster if you put them through longer and multiple drying cycles. As a result, you will have to buy more clothes sooner than you plan to.

3. Dirty dryer vents can shorten the lifespan of your machine.
When your dryer ducts are dirty, the machine’s capability to work property is affected. If your dryer struggles to dry your laundry, the more wear and tear it will get and the shorter the dryer’s life expectancy will be.
A lint and fiber build-up in the dryer vents can cause your dryer to overheat. Overheating may cause the other components of your dryer to fail. If your dryer finally breaks down, you’ll have to shell out money to buy a new one.
4. Clogged dryer vents can cause carbon monoxide build-up.
Dryer vents clogged with lint or obstructed by debris from pests and rodents will properly prevent exhaust fumes from exiting the vent line. There’s no proper ventilation. When this happens, the risk of harmful gasses building up inside your home is there.
The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is possible. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it hard to detect. The safety of your family and your home is of utmost importance.
5. Dirty dryer ducts result in poor air quality.
A good and functioning dryer will send all the moist air from the outside through the vents. However, if the ducts are clogged, the dirty air could go back in and spread into your home. You and your family risk breathing this dirty, moist air from the dryer, which is not healthy.

When should you clean your dryer vents?
The following signs indicate you need dryer vent cleaning:

● It takes a much longer time to dry a load of laundry.

● Both the dryer and your clothes get very hot.

● If you notice burning smells

● The vent hood flag won’t close properly

Don’t let a dirty dryer vent turn your house into another fire statistic. Keep your home safe by doing proper maintenance or hire a professional to do so. During our Home Inspection we inspect the connections to the dryer such as where it’s connected, if it’s properly ventilated, secured, installed to electrical outlets, gas connection and make note of any discrepancies noted such as a vent being restricted by a foreign object such as a device that keeps pests from coming into the home which can cause potential blockage and restrict air flow and proper ventilation that may cause damage and safety hazards. As we provide on all of our home inspections, we will provide you with a comprehensive report on areas that need to be addressed and its condition. When ready for your inspection, give us a call 951.351.1855

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