Try to picture this: You wake up in the middle of the night and the house is on fire. The firemen were able to stop it but there is a lot of damage. Then you find out where the fire started: the clothes dryer. Say what?!?
Anyone who didn’t know that a dryer vent could cause fires will surely be surprised. Around 15,000 of household fires in 2010 was caused by it, according to the National Fire Protection Association. A clogged dryer vent filled with lint and other debris could make the entire machine to overheat and combust. This can be avoided…easily. All you need to do is clean the dryer vent keep it from getting clogged. But, how will you know if the clothes dryer needs a dryer vent cleaning job?
Drying Cycles are Slower and Take Longer
When the vent is clogged, the dryer tries to extend the cycle to make sure that the clothes are dry when it is done. However, because the flow for moisture out of the vent is restricted, the cycle takes longer to make it happen.
Clothes are Hot and Moist
Since moisture is retained within the dryer, the machine tries to increase the heat in an effort to dry the clothes. So, if you open the dryer and the clothes are hot and still a bit moist, there is a huge possibility that you have a dirty dryer vent that needs immediate cleaning up.
The Outdoor Vent Flap Won’t Open
When the dryer is in use, the flap on the outdoor vent should open freely to allow moisture and heat to pass through. If it doesn’t, there is something in between and, for sure, it is lint or any debris that has built up and blocked the passageway.
The Vent has not been Cleaned for a Long Time
Try to remember the last time you cleaned the dryer vent thoroughly. If you can’t and it seems like more than a year ago, there is a high chance that a buildup has developed. Check it immediately before it becomes a household fire hazard.
Smoke or a Burning Scent
Lint is very flammable. If it builds up and the machine overheats, it can catch fire easily. If you notice smoke coming from the dryer, especially from the back part, or if you smell something burning, shut down the dryer and unplug it immediately. As soon as possible, call someone to come check it out.
It may cost you a bit to have it inspected or cleaned regularly but it is very important. Not only are you keeping the dryer from getting damaged, you are also protecting the house you invested in and the lives of the people you love the most.