As HVAC professionals, we are always looking for ways to help our customers keep their homes safe and comfortable. One of the most important things you as a homeowner can do is make sure to get your dryer vents cleaned regularly.
This is a simple task that can save money on energy costs, reduce fire risks, and extend the life of your dryer. The leading cause (31%) of home clothes dryer and washer fires was a failure to properly clean the vents. So we are going to cover how often you should get your dryer vents cleaned and why it’s so important.
We’ll also provide tips for proper maintenance to ensure that your vent stays in good condition all year round. Let’s get started by talking about the signs that your dryer vent is ready for deep cleaning.
Signs You Need to Clean Your Dryer Vent
So, how do you know when it’s time to clean your dryer vents? Well, there are quite a few signs you can look out for. Some of the signs that indicate that your vents need cleaning include things such as:
- Clothes taking longer than usual to dry
- A musty odor in the laundry room
- Excessive lint outside of the dryer
- A dryer that feels hot to the touch
- Debris around the dryer hose
- The vent hood flap does not open properly
- It’s been over a year since its last inspection
- A strange burning smell on the clothes
If you observe any of these signs, it’s time to clean your dryer vents.
How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vents
It is important to note that lint build-up in dryer vents can pose serious safety risks, such as fires, which can be catastrophic. It’s also important to note that the frequency of cleaning largely depends on the use of the dryer as well.
According to the reports from The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) dryers and washing machines cause an average of 15,970 fires each year. Of these over 90% of them are caused by dryers with an average of $200 million in property damage.
It is recommended that you clean your lint trap after every load and your dryer vent at least once per year. However, factors such as family size, frequency of laundry, and presence of pets can increase the frequency of necessary dryer vent cleanings.
In households with large families or frequent laundry usage, it may be necessary to clean the dryer vent several times a year to prevent excessive lint build-up.
Similarly, households with pets may need to clean the dryer vent more frequently to remove pet hair and fur from the vent.
Benefits of Regularly Cleaning Your Dryer Vents
Cleaning your dryer vents regularly not only helps to reduce the risk of a fire, but it can also help to save on energy costs. A clogged or blocked vent can cause the dryer to take longer to finish its cycle and use more energy.
By cleaning your vent regularly, you can help ensure that air is properly flowing through the vent, allowing clothes to dry faster and therefore reducing energy use.
Additionally, when air is able to freely flow through the vent, it helps reduce strain on the motor which in turn increases its lifespan.
So to recap, by regularly cleaning your dryer vent, you:
- Save energy
- Reduces maintenance costs
- Reduce replacement costs
- Reduces the risk of a fire
- Clothes dry faster
Overall, regular dryer vent cleaning is crucial for optimal safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. If you don’t have the time or want to handle a messy job, many HVAC companies offer professional dryer vent cleaning services. Where they can ensure thorough cleaning and inspection of your dryer vent system, providing peace of mind and protection for your home and family.
What Causes Buildup in Dryer Vents?
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of regular dryer vent cleaning and how often it should be done, let’s talk a bit more about what causes buildup in your vents.
The most common cause is lint accumulation.
Lint is made up of tiny bits of fabric and other materials from clothing, towels, sheets, and other fabrics that pass through the dryer. Lint can get stuck in the lint trap or along the walls of the dryer vent system which accumulates over time and can block airflow.
Other things such as dust, pet hair, toys, cans, and coins can also get trapped in the vent system causing blockages. So it’s important to check both your lint trap and dryer vent system regularly.
Prevent Fires & Save Money By Cleaning Your Dryer Vents
Regularly cleaning your dryer vents is not only important for safety reasons, but it can also help to save energy costs and extend the life of the appliance.
To ensure optimal safety and efficiency, it’s best to clean your lint traps after each load and have a professional inspect your dryer vent system at least once a year.
Look for signs such as excessive lint outside of the dryer, hot surface temperatures on your dryer, debris around the hose, improper function of the vent hood flap, or strange burning smells on clothes. All of which could indicate a clogged or blocked vent system.
By following these tips you can save energy costs and reduce the risk of fire.