8 Warning Signs That You Need to Check Your Dryer Vent
No one wants to deal with the aftermath of fire. After all, replacing household items, loss of photos and special keepsakes and the stack of paperwork involved is emotionally and physically exhausting. However, each year there are more than 25,000 home fires as a result of dryer vents which, in turn, cost homeowners/insurance companies more than $60 million in property damage. In fact, reports show that dryer vent related fires are responsible for over 90% of all appliance fires, over a dozen deaths and more than 300 injuries. Furthermore, studies have shown that the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires was lack of maintenance (30%), followed by unidentified or unknown-type mechanical failure (11%) and part failure, leak or break (10%).
So, what can you do to prevent a household fire as a result of your dryer? Here are 8 warning signs to watch for:
- Clothes that take an excessive amount of time to dry, e.g. more than one cycle especially when drying jeans and towels. This is caused by clogged dryer vents which will ultimately result in causing the demise of your dryer.
- A lint screen that has no visible lint on it, this should be a rarity as fabric typically produces lint.
- When the dryer stops during the cycle, yet clothes are still damp.
- There is excess lint left on your clothing rather than being collected on the lint screen.
- Clothes are very hot after a dryer cycle; this generally indicates that the dryer is working too hard due to build up in the vent. In addition, this excess heat can ruin your clothes.
- Time spent waiting for your clothes to dry; should be no longer than the length of a cycle.
- The top of your dryer is hot to the touch when in use.
- After a dryer cycle, your clothes have a moldy smell. This is caused by accumulation of moisture inside the dryer duct; the moisture is normally forced outside, but lint accumulation will prevent this.
In addition to these outward signs of a clogged dryer vent, there is a “less visible” affect that you don’t want to deal with: A clogged dryer creates a large amount of dust resulting in poor indoor air quality for you and your family dryer vent.
In the event that you notice any of the sign mentioned above, be sure to contact a company that specializes in cleaning dryer vents. The money you spend taking care of the problem now, may mean the difference between becoming a statistic and preventing an appliance related fire. Also, dryer vent fires can happen to any type of home as well as at commercial laundries-do your part to keep those you care about safe by scheduling a dryer vent cleaning. And while this can be done at any time during the year, spring and fall are the ideal times to plan for this. So don’t wait until there is a problem, schedule a professional dryer vent cleaner and protect what matters most!