How do you Prevent Dryer Vent Fires? Did you know that a clothes dryer is responsible for more than $35 million in property loss each year? Without the proper maintenance, lint can build up inside the dryer itself or, within the exhaust duct that leads outside. When the airflow is blocked the heat can build up and start a dryer vent fire.
[bctt tweet=”When the airflow is blocked the heat can build up and start a dryer vent fire.” username=”SanAirClean”]
For improved fire safety, your clothes dryer should definitely be added to your regular maintenance routine. While you shouldn’t skip the yearly professional visit for an internal cleaning and inspection, there are some things you can do yourself. Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take to help prevent dryer vent fires in your home.
Prevent Dryer Vent Fires
It’s important to make a habit of cleaning your lint filter or screen with each load you dry. If you begin to find damp clothes at the end of a typical cycle or experience longer than normal drying times, it could be a sign that your lint filter is clogged.
[bctt tweet=”If you begin to find damp clothes at the end of a typical cycle or experience longer than normal drying times…” username=”SanAirClean”]
Every 3-6 months, you should take a small brush and thoroughly deep clean your lint filter or screen. This will prevent minuscule particle build-up and lengthen the efficiency of your screen or filter.
Periodically, every 2-3 months, you’ll want to do a full-service check with your dryer. While it is in operation, check the outside vent for a solid air flow. If you don’t feel much (or any) air, the exhaust path is blocked.
In order to properly remove this type of blockage and Prevent Dryer Vent Fires, you may need to disconnect the duct from the connection at the back of the dryer. Once you’ve found and removed the blockage, be sure to securely reconnect everything. Failure to make sure everything is back in its proper place could also spell trouble.
[bctt tweet=”Failure to make sure everything is back in its proper place could also spell trouble.” username=”SanAirClean”]
This is also a great time to check behind the dryer. Often overlooked, the area behind your dryer is another favorite place for lint to accumulate. To prevent a fire hazard, sweep away any lingering lint and check to make sure the accordion-style duct is intact and in the proper position.
Master of the Airflow to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires
If you find an accordion-style duct made of foil or plastic behind your dryer, consider replacement. This is the duct that connects the back of your dryer and the outside vent. In general, most manufacturers will dictate the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal ducting. These types of ducts maximize the airflow and resist kinks and other damages better.
Handle with Care
It’s important to remember what was washed in the first place. If your clothes have been dirtied by chemicals with a high volatility, there are a few precautions you should take when drying. So what are volatile chemicals? Well, in simplistic terms, these are chemicals that have a high vapor rate and a low boiling point, thus flammable. These types of chemicals can include:
- Cleaning agents
- Cooking oil
- Wood stains
- Finishing oils
With clothing that has this type of stain, it’s generally recommended that you wash them more than once. This will that you remove as much of these chemicals as possible. If hanging them to dry isn’t possible, use the dryer on it’s lowest setting.
[bctt tweet=”With clothing that has this type of stain, it’s generally recommended that you wash them more than once. ” username=”SanAirClean”]
Make sure to choose a cycle that ends with a cool-down and take the clothing out as soon as the dry cycle is complete in order to Prevent Dryer Vent Fires. Find a place other than the laundry basket for a few minutes to spread them out and let them cool down a bit more before folding or hanging in a closet.
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