Clothes Dryer & Dryer Duct Cleaning
As you know from cleaning out your lint filter, dryers produce very large quantities of lint. Most people assume their lint traps catch all the lint, however, a significant amount of this lint is not caught by the lint trap and builds up inside the dryer-even on the heating element and in other places inside the dryer, causing it to overheat and possibly catch fire. As a rule, a fire starts from a spark in the machine. However, improper clothes dryer venting practices outside the dryer can play a key role in this process.
Many fires can be prevented with proper dryer duct cleaning. In Canada it is recommended that all North American style clothes dryers be cleaned on the inside by a qualified appliance technician. The Government of Ontario recommends that this service be done every 2 to 3 years as needed to remove lint from the rotating drum. The lint will build in other areas also. It is also true that a loose wire could cause a spark inside the clothes dryer. The time frame for this service would depend on many factors. The main factor is the style of dryer ducting you have. If your dryer duct is not 4 inches round, the lint may not flow as well as it should.
Many fire departments and insurance companies do require that dryer vents be inspected and cleaned regularly.
What Causes Dryer Fires?
A build-up of lint inside the Dryer is the cause of the fire;
Lint is a highly combustible material, which, interestingly enough, is one of the ingredients in a recipe for home-made fire starters.
Poor dryer maintenance! “Dryers are an often overlooked source of great potential danger because the highly flammable lint can easily ignite due to the combination of blocked airways and heat. That potential is magnified wherever there is restricted airflow or improper ventilation.”
A blocked clothes dryer vent caused the fire
When a dryer is not venting properly it is less efficient and costs more to operate
A plugged vent will certainly cause a dryer to run hotter and increase the chance that something could catch fire. A dirty vent, however, is only one link in a chain of events that must occur for a fire to start. Other events may include: failure of thermostat and limit switches in the dryer, lint inside the dryer, a missing or damaged lint screen, and a crushed hose behind the dryer.
You Can Prevent Clothes Dryer Fires
By keeping your dryer clean, not only will you significantly reduce the fire hazard, you will also save money as your dryer will run more efficiently and last longer.
- Clean the lint screen before or after each load
- have the interior of the dryer cleaned by a certified technician
- keep the area around the dryer free of clutter
For your health and safety get your dryer and duct/vent cleaning. Most of our customers save more than our fee with reduced utility costs, extended dryer life and reduced damage to their clothes (lint is basically broken clothes. The longer you have to tumble them, the more they break). The health benefits, while hard to measure, are definitely there. The reduction in fire risk is Priceless!