There are a couple of signs that indicate that your dryer duct (vent) is clogged or partially blocked.
Are your clothes taking longer to dry than usual? Are they hot to the touch when you take them out of the dryer? Does your exterior vent hood have excessive lint buildup or does it fail to open when your dryer is running?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you may need a professional dryer vent cleaning. A clogged dryer vent can be a serious matter and should be cleaned promptly.
Did you know? The Consumer Product Safety Commissions estimates that there are over 15,000 dryer fires annually, resulting in over 15 deaths and 400 injuries and causing over $80 million in property damage.
Most of these fires can be prevented by following a few simple steps:
1. If possible, avoid a dryer vent line from running through an uninsulated area (i.e. crawl space or attic).
The temperature change from area to area will result in condensation in your dryer line. Dust, dirt, and lint will adhere to the wet surface resulting in fast buildup of debris and restriction of air flow. In order to avoid condensation, it is imperative to properly insulate the exterior of these lines.
2. Clean your lint filter regularly – this simple step is often overlooked.
Before running your dryer remove the lint filter and thoroughly remove all lint that has been trapped in the screen. Also, be sure to vacuum inside the dryer’s lint trap space and rid it of all lint that has collected BELOW the trap. This step could be critical in preventing a fire. Running your dryer with a full lint filter causes the dryer to work harder and operate at higher then normal temperatures. While most dryers have a safety switch that will turn off the heater when it reaches its’ temperature limit; if this switch is called into action too frequently it can eventually fail to work. As a result, the dryer will continue to operate at potentially dangerous temperatures causing it to overheat and/or catch fire. Therefore, a clean lint filter will allow your appliance to operate more efficiently and safely.
3. Hire a professional company to inspect and clean the dryer exhaust system on a yearly basis.
The use of proper equipment along with well-trained technicians is critical to the maintenance of your dryer exhaust system. The technicians will inspect the outside exhaust vent to ensure it is clear of dirt, lint, bird and/or rodent nests as well as other debris. In order to maintain a clear exterior exhaust vent, a vent guard is highly recommended and can be installed by an Advanced Duct Cleaning technician for a smalladditional fee.
4. Install a smoke detector in or near you laundry room. Consider the installation of a carbon monoxide detector if you are operating a gas-powered dryer.
5. If you live in a condominium, townhouse, or apartment building it is very important to maintain a clean and clear dryer vent due to the close proximity of the units.
It is very important each neighbor does their part to ensure the safety of all residents. The close proximity of the units enhances the chance for fire as well as the spread of fire. Coincidentally, these structures have complex dryer venting systems because they are often built for aesthetics and not always with safety of the residents in mind. More often than not dryers are vented to the exterior in the rear of the building to maintain curb appeal; meanwhile the laundry room may be located in front of the structure. Most dryer manufactures recommend a dryer vent length of no more than 30 feet. Unfortunately, most people and even professional builders are not aware that each 90 degree bend is equivalent to five feet of duct. For example, if you home has a 15 foot dry line and four 90 degree bends that is equivalent to a 35 foot dryer vent (15ft + 4(5)bends=35 feet). Be aware that when a manufacturer states a “30 foot maximum” that is a maximum and not the recommended length. A dryer with a 10 foot line will dry your clothes in approximately 20% less time than a dryer with a 30 foot line. Most homeowner and condo associations require their residents to have their dryer vents professionally cleaned (and show a receipt or certification to prove it was completed) on a yearly basis. Even if not mandated you should follow an annual cleaning schedule for the safety of yourself and your neighbors.
6. Monitor your exhaust line with a dryer vent alert system
A dryer’s exhaust system has constant back pressure that is always changing. Over time the pressure increase due to lint build up, bird nests in the exhaust, crushed hoses, and damaged or blocked vent hoods. A dryer alert system works to protect you by continually monitoring airflow and showing the exact pressure in the exhaust system. This small device has a sensor that is attached to the transition hose behind the dryer. It will sound an audible alarm if it detects unsafe levels of back pressure caused by a partial blockage. Armed with this information you can save energy and be certain your dryer is operating at safe levels. Advanced Furnace highly recommends the LintAlert brand.
What you can expect with Advanced Furnace and Air Duct Cleaning.
Advanced Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA is “the world’s leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety. NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks.” Most local fire departments follow standards that have originally been set by the NFPA.
When you call Advance Furnace we do NOT arrive with an inadequate, portable “shop vac.” We always bring one of our eleven power vacuum trucks to every single service call. Each vacuum truck carries an impressive 16,000 cubic feet per minute of suction power, which is the equivalent to a 300mph wind. Upon arrival, our technicians will disconnect and move your dryer from the wall. Next, they will hook up the truck’s vacuum hose to the exhaust line of the dryer vent. While the vacuum truck is operating, the technician will run the patented viper whip dislodger through the entire exhaust line. The viper whip will effectively agitate and dislodge any lint that has adhered to the sides of the duct. The loosened debris is sucked up by the vacuum and proper air flow is restored. This through cleaning process will allow your dryer to run more efficiently, cut down on dryer operating time, and will greatly reduce the risk of a dryer fire.
Call us today at 1-800-317-7104 to set up an appointment to have your dryer cent cleaned by the best in the state. Be sure to ask about our special price when you also have your HVAC ducts cleaned.