Preventing Fires in Dryer Vents and Other Problems
It has been almost a year since we last spoke about the importance of maintaining a clean and properly functioning dryer exhaust vent to help prevent fires in dryer vents. So, I thought this topic would be a good one to revisit.
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Let me ask, how many of you have actually had your dryer vent system checked or cleaned by a professional during the last twelve months? If everyone answered the question, I doubt the number would be as high as it should be.
Let’s look at some of the most common results from not maintaining a properly functioning drying exhaust system:
- Longer drying times = Higher energy costs
- Overheating dryers = Damage to dryers
- Water leaking from duct = Water damage wallboard and mold growth
- And most importantly FIRE!
All of these are good reasons to have your dryer system inspected annually and cleaned, if necessary.
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Yes, birds’ nests account for many of our service calls for clothes not drying t this time of year. In the Mid-Atlantic States we encounter Starlings (A type of black bird) that love to build nests not only in dryer exhausts, but also in bathroom and kitchen exhaust. The Starlings will build nests inside the dryer duct, near the end cap, where the duct terminates on the exterior of a home or building. The nests significantly obstruct air flow through the duct, therefore leading to any one of the aforementioned problems.
There are a few ways to tackle this situation.
- Install an end cap that is manufactured with a guard/screen to keep the birds out
(Guards and screens create obstructions where lint can accumulate and therefore should be monitored for buildup)
- Keep a watchful eye and remove nesting material as soon as its noticed
It is also important to keep the bathroom and kitchen exhausts clear of nests. This allows for proper exhaust system function and to reduce the potential for exposure of biological hazards associated with the nesting birds.
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But by far our greatest concern is fire. This excerpt is from The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and they state the following:
In 2010, an estimated 16,800 reported U.S. non-confined or confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries and $236 million in direct property damage.
Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 4%.
The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (32%), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (22%). Eight percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction.
Please don’t let dry vents cause a problem within your home or place of business. Contact SANAIR IAQ today to schedule a professional assessment. Contact us TODAY at www.sanairclean.com or via phone at 757-873-2091.
Contact us TODAY to learn more about preventing fires in dryers!