How long has it been since your dryer vent got a good cleaning? We’re not talking about emptying the lint trap; we’re going way more in-depth than that. If you can’t remember (or if you know the answer is “never”), it’s time to call in your HVAC specialist. While this may seem like an easy enough task to tackle on your own, professional help is actually strongly recommended to ensure the job is done right.
Why It Matters
The National Fire Protection Agency reports that there are almost 16,000 clothes dryer fires reported each year, and that these fires result in 13 deaths, 444 injuries, and $238 million in property damage annually. The #1 cause for these fires? Failure to clean the dryer vent properly. For this reason, the U.S. Fire Administration strongly recommends having a professional regularly clean your dryer. While emptying the lint trap after every load is an important step, it only addresses part of the problem. Lint builds up in many places, including the interior dryer duct, the dryer vent, and inside the dryer itself. And it’s so flammable the Boy Scouts of America recommend using it to start campfires. Many homeowners who try to address the problem themselves actually make things worse by accidentally compacting the lint while attempting to remove it, which can cause a blockage and lead to an even bigger problem. Your Austin HVAC specialist, on the other hand, has the proper tools, knowledge, and experience to make sure the job is done properly and completely.
But Wait, There’s More!
Obviously, keeping your home and family safe is the number one reason for a professional vent cleaning. But clean vents come with a number of other benefits. They keep your dryer running efficiently, saving you money on your monthly utility bill and prolonging the life of your dryer. Regular cleaning will also prevent mold from growing in your dryer (your dryer releases moisture, which occasionally creates wet spots; built-up lint can attach to these spots and grow mold) and keep animals from nesting in your vents, which happens when your duct hood flap doesn’t completely close.
What to Look For
How can you tell when it’s time for a cleaning? Experts recommend at least once a year (large households might want to schedule more frequently) or when you notice any of the warning signs below:
- Your dryer is regularly failing to get clothes completely dry in a single cycle. If you have to run it over and over, lint build-up is likely preventing it from doing its job.
- It’s too hot. If the dryer or the clothes are extremely hot after a cycle, you may have a blocked vent.
- Your laundry room is hot and humid. This is a sign that the dryer vent isn’t pushing the heat and moisture to the outside. You might also notice a musty smell if this is the case.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues or if it’s been more than a year since your last dryer vent cleaning, contact our HVAC specialists today for an appointment. Keep your home safe and your dryer running efficiently by leaving the dirty work to the pros!