Air Quality Articles

Keeping Your Home Safe While Doing Laundry

Keeping Your Home Safe While Doing Laundry

Is Your Dryer Vent A Safety Hazard?

Doing the laundry at home isn’t difficult or particularly stressful, but there’s one sure-fire way to make it that way. What many people don’t know is that if you don’t clean your lint trap, you could be increasing run times, running your energy bill up, and, worst of all, creating the potential for a deadly fire. Yes, it’s true; keeping your lint trap dirty is the perfect way to start a fire because of the heat, friction, and kinetic and intensity which builds while your wash is drying.

The Equipment

A dryer is actually an incredibly complex machine with a few built-in safety precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe. One of these is the dryer vent, which is made up of a number of smaller parts, including a tube which runs from the dryer to outside of your home. 

This vent removes hot air and moisture from your house, making the area safer and more stable. If your lint trap is not clean, large particles such as dirt, dust, and lint can build up in your vent. The incredible heat of the dryer can spark or inflame these elements and start a fire which can quickly grow out of control.

The Facts About Dryer Vents

The list of worries for most is relatively long, and laundry fires don’t often make the cut. It’s not a surprise, considering they’re not incredibly common, but they’re more common than most realize. The National Fire Protection Agency has tabulated that they respond to nearly sixteen thousand structural fires every single year in America, all having to do with driers or washing machines. 

Certainly, not all of these fires are caused simply and directly by dirty lint traps, but this is by far the most common reason for drier and washer fires. Furthermore, this problem is totally preventable; all you have to do is make sure your lint trap and dryer vent are clean each and every time you start a new wash cycle.

Signs You Need A Dryer Vent Cleaning

There’s more than one way to determine if your dryer vent is filling up with debris and large particles which are preventing it from doing its job. Not only will your clothes take longer than normal to go through a dryer cycle, but your dryer or entire laundry room might be uncomfortably or unreasonably hot after a new cycle. 

Additionally, it’s possible that your dryer will emit a smell of burning or smoke, or that excess lint will be present in the lint trap after every cycle. If you find one or more of these signs after every drying cycle, it may be time to clean your dryer vent.

Problems with a Dirty Vent

The chance of a fire isn’t the only reason you should clean your trap. There can be many more problems that arise from dirty traps, such as longer drying times, higher energy bills, and more frequent and costly repairs. 

If you’re letting your dryer build up dirt and debris, the problems will only worsen until something significant happens which must be dealt with, and this can be much more costly than simply preventing the problem to begin with. When your dryer is running cleanly, you should find that your energy bill is decreasing because less energy is needed to dry your clothes, and the machine will tick along beautifully without needing any major repair.

Cleaning Your Dryer

You can clean your dryer yourself every few months to make sure there’s no excessive lint buildup, but it’s recommended that you get a professional clean at least once a year. A professional will be able to identify and prevent problems before they happen, and they’ll know exactly where to clean and how to make sure a proper cleaning is done.

At the very least, you should empty your lint trap after every load, let your dryer cool off for about half an hour between loads, move your dryer closer to an external wall, and use liquid fabric softer as opposed to dryer sheets. These simple steps will keep your dryer better for longer.

If you need a dryer vent cleaning in Memphis, it’s best to contact TruClean Home Services. Their experts have the knowledge and experience to get the job done right the first time and they’ll be able to tell you if any additional methods are needed. If you have an older or degrading washer, the experts at TruClean Home Services can tell you the right course of action and if a new dryer will be needed and when.

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