Imagine waking up one morning to a burning house! Later on the insurance company informs you, all this is the fault of your clothes dryer. Had it been taken care of in time, there would not have been a fire. In fact more than 15500 US home fires were started in 2010.
Build up of lint and other debris in the dryer hose and vent duct reduces air flow, backing up exhaust gases eventually causing a fire. These hazards, however, can be prevented by proper inspection of the dryer vent. So how do you check if the vent has turned into some sort of a “heat bomb”? Read on to find your answers.
Longer drying time
After a dryer vent is clogged, the drying time can increase up to three times. If that is the case, even clothes will not dry on time. Dryers are designed to push out moist air, but if the vent is itself blocked by lint it will not be possible for it to dry the clothes. Consequently it will take double time to do the job, thereby endangering the lifespan of your machine.
Excessive heat radiation
Do you often find your clothing very hot after the end of a cycle in the dryer? Or do you see your dryer turning too hot? These are signs of the vent not being exhausted properly. A clogged system will only lead to wastage of energy, eventually leading to a dryer to wear out even faster.
Burning smell effusion
Does your dryer give out a burning smell when you run it? In fact if there is a build of lint in the exhaust tube, lint trap or even in the drum casing can together make way for the flames to rise, emitting the burning smell. Discontinue the use of the dryer and have it inspected as soon as possible.
Trouble with vent hood
Can you see debris or lint accumulated around the dryer hose or the outside vent opening? Is the duct hood flap not opening the way you want it to? An outside vent which does not open up when the dryer is running signifies air flow restriction due to lint buildup.
Time elapsed since last dryer vent cleaning
Dryer vent ducts need to be inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Cleaning dryer vents reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. The charges usually depend on the location and length of the vent. If the exterior exhaust vent is easily accessible, you can try cleaning it by means of a brush kit too.
So, if you have never thought of changing your dryer vents, its time you think now. Just cleaning the screen alone is never enough, with every load one also has to clean up the actual vent. If you don’t want your household to reduce to ashes, do check for the above signs of threat.