Dryer Vent Cleaning: What is it and why is it important?
Every year, U.S. fire departments respond to nearly 4,000 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines, with one-third of those emergency situations caused by homeowners not regularly cleaning their vents. What’s more, dryer duct fires annually cause an estimated $35 million in damages, hundreds of injuries, and in worst cases, death. Unfortunately, not many homeowners realize how important it is to clean vents and lint traps on a regular basis until a crisis strikes. That’s why we’ve included an everything-you-need-to-know comprehensive list of the most important reasons why homeowners need expert dryer vent cleaning for their home.
Is Expert Dryer Vent Cleaning Necessary?
Yes, yes, and yes! For starters, regular cleanings improve efficiency, which reduces the cost of running the machine. Some industry studies have shown regular cleaning can save homeowners up to 30% on their energy bills. On top of that, cleanings reduce ongoing maintenance costs and reduce wear and tear on the dryer, making it less likely to break down and increasing its shelf life.
But, by far, the most important reason to professionally clean your dryer vent is the risk of fire if the system fails. Lint, as everyone knows, is highly flammable, and if it builds up on the vent, can ignite from the heat of the dryer and pose a risk not only to your home, but to your family.
How often should dryer vents be professionally cleaned?
Most industry experts say a good rule of thumb is to have dryer exhaust vents inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. But every home and situation is different. A household that uses its dryer often should maybe think about having inspections every six months. This may apply to your family if you have many kids or pets. The best thing a homeowner can do is consult a professional cleaner to find out what works best for them.
In the meantime, it’s always recommended homeowners conduct routine maintenance and cleaning to prevent build ups, like cleaning lint traps. Some obvious signs your system needs attention are if clothes take too long to dry, debris around the dryer hose, the vent hood flap does not open properly, or you notice a strange burning smell on clothes.
But, at the end of the day, professional cleaners possess the training, skills, and tools to reach areas of the system that homeowners simply can’t get to, especially in the ductworks. That’s why it’s important to hire companies that specialize in cleaning out vents.
How do professionals clean dryer vents?
First things first: our professional teams conduct a thorough inspection of the dryer vent opening. Then, our highly trained crew members go into the deep parts of the dryer system. We use a specialized vacuum and brush to dislodge and remove any debris stuck in the machine.
The most important areas cleaned are what’s known as the “bends and elbows”. This is where debris builds up faster than any other parts of the vent. Dirt, leaves, debris, pet hair, lint – all these items can have a huge impact on the functionality of the system. When we’re done, we make sure these pathways are clear.
In some instances, we’ll also recommend a diagnostic test to see how much pressure and gas is in the system. This can help us know whether there are any major damages to the machine.
What happens if you don’t clean your dryer vent?
For such a quick and simple solution that’s readily available, it’s shocking to see how many homeowners experience the adverse impacts of not professionally cleaning dryer vents.
Machines clogged with debris and lint do not operate efficiently at full capacity. This means clothes take longer to dry, consume more energy, and cost homeowners in the long run. What’s more, machines are forced to work harder when backed up. This results in the need for repairs, and in some cases, the machines break down.
And, as mentioned above, dryer vents filled with flammable material are huge fire hazards. By calling a professional cleaner today, homeowners can take the first step to making sure their family and home are safe from one of the most dangerous fire risks in a household.