Why Is It Important to Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean and Lint-Free?

should i clean out my dryer vent

The risk of fire goes up when things that can easily catch fire get too hot. This is where clothes dryers can become a problem without us knowing. It’s not really the clothes themselves that are the issue, but the lint attached to the clothing that is a risk. When a buildup of lint gathers in a dryer, it will fill up the filter and the venting system.

Each time you do laundry and use the dryer, more and more lint gets trapped in the vent. As the hot air circulates, it makes this lint really dry. After a while, this pile of lint becomes vulnerable to catching fire.

To prevent a house fire, you need to regularly clean your lint trap, as well as your dryer vent. A thorough dryer vent cleaning is an easy way to avoid house fires and other disasters. Take a look at some of the statistics surrounding this topic and learn how to keep your appliance clean and your home and family safe.

Can Clogged Dryer Vents Cause Fires?

House fires resulting from clogged dryer vents are a lot more serious and common than you may realize. While they are preventable, if you don’t take the proper precautions, you risk a fire in your home. Take a look at these statistics from the National Fire Prevention Association:

  • Lint, dust, and fiber buildup in dryer filters and vents constitute the second leading cause of dryer fires.
  • Dryer vent fires result in approximately $88 million in damages every year.
  • Fires that start in dryers lead to an average of more than 400 injuries and 15 deaths annually.
  • The months between November and March see the highest incidence of dryer fires.

If you notice a buildup of dust or debris, no matter how small or big, it’s best to dispose of it and sanitize the dryer. Now, take a look at a few tips on practicing dryer vent safety.

6 Tips for Preventing Lint Buildup in Your Dryer Vent

If you pay attention to the state of your dryer and the methods of drying your clothes, you may find practices that are not wise and could pose a risk. From in-depth maintenance to safe care, proper dryer usage can lower the risk of causing a fire in your home.

1. Keep Combustible Materials Away from the Dryer

When it comes to dryer safety, the most basic principle to follow is to maintain a safe distance between your dryer and easily flammable materials. Unless specifically instructed by the manufacturer, items like paper, rubber, or plastic should not be placed in your dryer vent.

Furthermore, these materials should not be placed near the machine in case of an emergency. This preventative measure significantly reduces the risk of ignition and potential fire hazards, ensuring that your laundry routines remain safe and worry-free.

2. Have the Quality and Condition of Your Vent Checked

An important aspect of dryer vent safety is carefully analyzing your venting system’s quality and condition. It’s really important to regularly check your venting system to make sure it’s working well. If needed, think about making improvements to match safety rules. Doing this helps your dryer’s venting system work better, lowering the chance of fires.

3. Clean Your Lint Trap Filter After Each Use

One of the easiest yet most impactful steps you can take to enhance dryer safety is to consistently clean the lint trap filter after each use. This simple act of removing built-up lint from the filter significantly reduces the likelihood of lint accumulation, the most significant cause of fire hazards.

By making lint trap maintenance a routine practice, you contribute substantially to the safety of your home.

4. Wash the Lint Trap with Water and Soap Once a Month

Going the extra mile in lint trap maintenance involves a monthly deep cleaning routine. Washing the lint trap with water and soap offers a more comprehensive removal of tiny flammable particles that may not be eliminated with simple shaking. By eradicating these particles, you effectively minimize potential fuel sources for fires, further enhancing your dryer’s safety measures.

5. Stay Nearby and Alert While the Dryer Operates

A dryer should never be left unattended. This means that you should never leave the dryer running if you plan to leave the house or go to sleep.

Having someone around to keep an eye on the dryer while it’s running ensures a safer operation. This is a reliable way to avoid disasters before they occur. If you are planning to leave the house, stop the dryer and then turn it back on when you return.

6. Use Only One Cycle to Dry Clothes

It’s not best practice to put too many clothes in the dryer at once or run it multiple times for the same load. Even though it improves the efficiency of the laundry process, doing so can make the dryer too hot, potentially leading to a fire.

To be safe, make sure you do as instructed on each item of clothing in regard to temperature, duration, and cycle intensity. This helps keep your dryer working well and your home safe when you do your laundry.

If your dryer is malfunctioning or you notice a large buildup of dust or lint in your vents, turn to our skilled technicians at Home Comfort Experts. Our team prioritizes your safety and can help you repair and maintain your home. Contact us at (574) 319-7445 to schedule an appointment for thorough dryer vent cleaning services in Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan.

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