Few people are aware of the danger that clothes dryers can pose, which is one of the reasons that dryer maintenance is so often overlooked. Fires can occur when lint (a highly combustible material) builds up in the machine or more commonly, in the dryer’s exhaust duct. This blockage causes excessive heat to build-up in the dryer.
Some warning signs that your dryer vent may be blocked are:
1. Excessive heat in the laundry room
2. A musty smell
3. Clothes that are still damp after a cycle
4. A large amount of lint and debris
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important that you take steps to clear your vent right away.
Keep Your Dryer as Lint-Free as Possible
1. Use a lint brush or vacuum attachment to remove accumulated lint from under the lint trap and other accessible places on a periodic basis.
2. Every 1-3 years, have the dryer taken apart and thoroughly cleaned out by a service technician.
3. Clean the lint trap after each load.
If you regularly clean out your dryer’s exhaust vent, you’ll not only significantly reduce a very common fire hazard, but you’ll also save money as your dryer will last longer and run much more efficiently.
Before You Go…
1. Never let your clothes dryer run while you are out of the house or when you are asleep.
2. Thoroughly read manufacturers instructions regarding the safe use of their dryers.
3. Exhaust ducts should terminate on the outside of the home, and never in an attic, or crawlspace… where they deposit moisture, which can encourage the growth of mold, wood decay, or other material problems.