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Why a dirty dryer vent is a safety hazard in your home

Posted Monday, September 26th, 2016

Oxford, Michigan: did you know your dryer vent could put your home at risk?

How much time do you spend thinking about your dryer vent? Probably not a lot, and that’s OK… most of the time. However, if you’ve never given your dyer vent any thought at all, it may surprise you to learn that a dirty dryer vent is a safety hazard in your home. Poorly-cleaned clothes dryers cause thousands of house fires every year, resulting in death, injury, and millions of dollars of property loss for many Americans.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to address this hazard in your home.

What can you do to prevent a house fire?

Lint is the usual suspect in a dryer fire. Uncleaned lint screens, or lint built up inside or around the dryer itself, can ignite if a dryer runs too hot for too long. However, the biggest risk comes from the vent itself. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Dryer vents made from flexible tubing, such as foil or plastic, collect lint in areas where it sags or bends. Long dryer vents are also a risk, especially if they make several twists and turns before venting outside. Examine your current setup, and replace any flexible tubing with a rigid, metal duct.
  • Pay attention to how well your dryer runs. If it feels exceptionally hot during a cycle, or if it regularly takes more than one cycle to dry your clothes, it may be time to clean your dryer vent.
  • Does your laundry room feel damp or have a musty odor? A blocked dryer vent can cause warm, humid air to backup into your laundry room. This could be due to lint, but it can also mean an animal has chosen to nest in your vent. Have a professional come in to clean it out.
  • Be careful if you’re washing clothes which have been stained with a volatile agent. If you’ve spilled gasoline, cooking oil, alcohol, cleaning agents, or other flammable substances on your clothes, wash them twice and line dry.
  • Don’t overload your dryer, and don’t dry anything against the manufacturer’s instructions. The same applies for any item with foam, plastic, or rubber, such as a bathroom mat with a slip-proof backing.

Have a professional clean your dryer vent regularly

If you aren’t sure when you last had your dryer vent cleaned, or if you’ve noticed any of the warning signs above, bring in a professional to take a look. Modernistic offers dryer vent cleaning in the Oxford, Michigan area, as well as throughout areas of southern and central Michigan. And if you’re having us in to clean your air ducts, ask about including a dryer vent cleaning in the service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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