You’ve finished the laundry and cleaned the lint trap but clothes are remaining damp or a smoke alarm was set off due to your dryer overheating. These are very common issues affecting your dryer unit, and nearly always, it means it’s time to perform a dryer vent cleaning.
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Lint builds up in the dryer, transition duct and exhaust duct which can reduce airflow and create a dangerous situation. This can lead to overheating and dryer inefficiencies, and in some cases, fires. When moisture cannot escape it will invite mold and bacteria build up as well. By cleaning your dryer vent, we can help ensure your clothes dryer is both safe and energy-efficient.
“Failure to clean is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.”
– FEMA: Topical Fire Research Series, Volume 7, Issue 1
Blocked Dryer Vents Can Pose a Serious Fire Risk
In a research report specifically evaluating Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings, the National Fire Data Center under the direction of FEMA documented the following findings as they relate to fires caused by dryers:1
- Clothes dryer fires are identified as the cause for 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually.
- Eighty percent of clothes dryer fires occur in houses and residential buildings.
- Each year approximately 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur in residential buildings resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries.
- “Failure to clean” is the leading contributor to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
- Trends in new home construction position clothes dryers and washing machines in hazardous locations away from outside walls such as bedrooms, second-floor hallways, bathrooms, and kitchens.
With fire safety in mind, It is more important than ever to get your dryer vent inspected and serviced.
There are a number of indicators that may give you the nudge that it’s time for dryer vent cleaning in your St Louis home. Here are the most common signs it’s time to clean your dryer vent ducts and related hardware:
- Your Dryer is Very Hot to the Touch – The Dryer vent is designed to let hot air escape. A clogged vent could be keeping that from happening, causing overheating of the unit and clothes.
- It’s Taking Longer to Dry Clothes – Assuming you’ve loaded a standard size of laundry, a cycle shouldn’t really take longer than 45 minutes to get completely dry. This could be pointing to vent blockage and when left overnight, you’ll often notice a musty smell — typically mold beginning to grow on damp clothing.
- A Burning Smell Coming from Dryer – Lint is extremely flammable and small portions of it can ignite if blockages are not allowing heat to escape through the vents. If you notice a burning smell, discontinue use — it’s time for an inspection and dryer vent cleaning.
- The Dryer Vent Flap Won’t Open – The outside vent duct will have a flap covering the opening. Hot air escapes through this opening. If lint build-up is too significant, air can’t get through and the flap won’t open. Anytime hot air can’t escape, overheating and fire becomes more hazardous.
- Debris and Lint Is Collecting Around the Dryer Vent Opening – If more than just hot air are exiting the vents, it’s time for a cleaning.
- Annual Dryer Maintenance and Yearly Dryer Vent Cleaning – Regular maintenance and dryer vent cleaning services will extend the life of your unit.
How to Clean Dryer Vent – The Hoffmann Brothers Difference
When you schedule your St Louis dryer vent cleaning service with Hoffmann Brothers, we implement top-performing Rotobrush dryer vent cleaning technology. Here’s are some of the many steps we take during a dryer vent cleaning appointment:
- Video Camera Inspection of your Dryer Vents – Just like your air ducts, you can’t see inside your dryer vents. With our vent camera technology, we can show you all the dirt and lint that stays inside your dryer and vent once you have completed your laundry and cleared the lint trap.
- Removal of Blockages With Extended Lint Brush – If you’re beginning with DIY methods, this is often where you’ll start. Our professional lint brushes will reach inside your ducts to free larger blockages.
- Professional Dryer Vent Vacuum Cleaning Systems – Once a brush has freed the majority of buildup, we finish the job with our specialized dryer vent cleaning equipment to remove any remaining lint or debris.
According to Consumer Reports, it’s important to perform a full dryer vent cleaning at least once each year.2 This is especially important for fire prevention and extending the life of your unit.