Is Your Dryer Vent an Accident Waiting to Happen?

How often do you schedule your dryer vent cleaning?

dryer vent fire

If you neglect to have your dryer vents cleaned and inspected, the lint build up can cause serious problems.

Did you know it’s not unusual for a clothes dryer to start a house fire?  In January of this year in Bethel, Connecticut, for instance, a clothes dryer caught on fire; and the Bethel & Stony Hill Volunteer Fire Departments were quick to get the fire extinguished.  Not everyone is so lucky.  The United States Fire Administration did a study which shows that approximately 15 deaths and 400 injuries are caused by clothes dryer-related accidents annually.

Debris and lint can build up in your clothes dryer over time, eventually causing it to exhaust less efficiently.  This creates the possibility of fires and, if you have a gas clothes dryer, potential carbon monoxide intrusion.  If an exhaust duct in a gas dryer is blocked by debris or lint or if the dryer isn’t vented properly, deadly carbon monoxide can be forced into your home.

According to The Chimney Safety Institute of America, it’s best to trust a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician® to inspect and clean your clothes dryer and to verify that the venting system is both installed correctly and is the correct size.  To be certified, these special technicians pass an extensive qualifying exam on the proper maintenance and inspection of dryer vents as well as applicable standards and codes which relate to these systems.  The help of a CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician can also decrease the wear on your dryer by increasing its efficiency.

dryer vent cleaning

You may find that over time it takes longer to dry your clothes – this is one sign that your dryer should be inspected and cleaned.

When your dryer vent is clogged, the clothes take twice as long to dry, the dryer runs at higher temperatures than what it’s designed to do, and the lifespan of your appliance decreases.  In addition, the heating element could burn out or overworked safety controls could cause a fire to ignite.

Because of the way homes are built today, dryer exhaust vent inspections are more important than they’ve ever been.  Previously, dryers were located next to outside walls, which made the dryer venting system easy to keep clean.  Nowadays, dryer ducts are more difficult to access.  There is additional length, and the greater distance means, among other things, that birds and animals could possibly take up residence there.


The following are a few facts about Clothes Dryer Exhaust Safety:
•    The minimum span of a dryer duct is 4” in diameter; and the duct mustn’t be smaller than the dryer outlet, according to local codes and manufacturer’s specifications.
•    Dryer venting systems should always terminate outdoors.  They should not lead into attic, crawl, or chimney space.
•    An exhaust duct should never exceed 25 feet in length.  When measuring, 5 feet should be added to the length for each 90º turn.
•    Metal transition ducts should be used between the exhaust duct and the clothes dryer.
•    Flexible transition ducts should never be used inside a wall or in an attic or crawl space.
•    A back draft damper should be included on the outside dryer exhaust vent termination hood so that exhaust does not go back into the home.
•    There is only one nationally-recognized credential for cleaning and maintaining dryer venting systems, and that is the CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician.

Remember that over 15,000 fires are caused by dryer vents that are not properly maintained or are improperly serviced.  Call Dr. Lint for Dryer Vent Cleaning today to schedule your dryer vent cleaning so that you can be assured of safety and better dryer performance and efficiency.

Dr. Lint
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: (860) 356-0905

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