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Answering Common Questions About Dryer Vent Cleaning

9/16/2015
Dryer maintenance is necessary for home safety, and that means acquiring the necessary cleaning tools to keep the dryer vents in good working order.

Dryer maintenance is necessary for home safety, and that means acquiring the necessary cleaning tools to keep the dryer vents in good working order. There are nearly twenty thousand dryer fires in America each year just because homeowners failed to clean out their dryer exhaust.  A clogged dryer exhaust will block air flow – making it a longer process to dry your clothes, as well as a serious safety hazard.

•    How Do I Know my Dryer Vent Has Been Blocked?

-    If your clothes are taking longer to dry than normal, that is usually the first sign of trouble.  In addition, if the clothes are unusually warm or hot when they exit the dryer, when the dryer itself is unusually hot, and when the flapper valve at the exhaust hood fails to open properly, you definitely need to have your dryer vent looked at.

•    Should I Fix My Dryer Vent or Should I Hire a Professional?

-    Unless you know what you’re doing, it may be wise to spend the money and hire a professional. You can always read up on how to clean it out online. However, shorter vents can almost always be done by homeowners. For a typical dryer vent that is roughly six feet long, it will only take about a half hour or a little more to have it completely cleaned out. Clean out the internal ductwork and then also clean the dryer out itself. Remove any lint that you see, since lint can often be the accelerator to the fire.

•    How Often Does the Dryer Vent Need to be Cleaned?

-    This is entirely dependent on the dryer vent. As a general rule of thumb, most dryer vents will need to be cleaned at least annually, but some professionals recommend cleaning them out twice a year (or once every six months) just to be careful.  There are a number of other factors that can determine how often your dryer vent needs to be cleaned out, such as how long the vent is and how often it is used.

•    What if my Dryer Vent blows into the attic?

-    There are a few dryer vents that dump its exhaust into the attic.  All dryers have some water in them, so when small portions of water are being sprayed around the attic overtime, it can result in water damage or developing mold. Dryer Vent Cleaning Tools will be needed to clear out the mold and lint.

•    How Large Are Most Dryer Vents?

-    Some dryer vents are as short as only six feet while others are as long as twenty five feet, with sharp forty-five degree and ninety degree angles along the way. According to the international residential code, the duct should be no longer than twenty five feet.

•    Can You Use a PVC Pipe?

-    Contrary to what many people think, you should always avoid using a PVC pipe in a dryer vent.  This is because when the air flows over the plastic, this actually generates high levels of static electricity.  Remember too, that lint can turn flammable over time and is one of the major sources of fires starting in dryer vents.  When the lint becomes attracted to the static electricity, it will only make it more flammable.  Instead of using a PVC pipe, use metal material instead.

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