A dryer is a well-used appliance, especially if you have a large family. It is essential in our daily lives to keep clothes clean and dry, especially during the rainy season. However, maintaining a dryer also means regularly cleaning its vents. Most homeowners tend to forget the importance of cleaning dryer vents since they sit hidden behind the wall or under the floor. But did you know that a clogged dryer vent could lead to a house fire? According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of home dryer fires was due to failure to clean the vents, resulting in an average of around 16,800 incidents per year.
Here are five tell-tale signs that indicate it’s time to clean your dryer vent immediately:
Clothes Take Longer to Dry
Did you notice that your clothes take longer than usual to dry? It is likely caused by a clogged dryer vent, which restricts proper airflow. The build-up of lint, dust, and other debris can decrease the efficiency of the dryer, making it harder to dry your clothes in a single cycle. It’s best to have the dryer vent cleaned regularly to prevent your energy bills from piling up due to prolonged drying cycles.
Excess Lint Around the Dryer
Have you noticed lint around your dryer or on the floor? Excess lint buildup is a sign that clogging occurs in the dryer vent. Regularly cleaning the lint filter is essential, but some lint will get trapped in the vents. This excess lint is highly flammable and can be hazardous if left uncleaned.
If you smell a burning odor when using your dryer, it is a potential sign that the lint inside the dryer vent has caught fire. You should immediately turn off the dryer and unplug it from the outlet. Keep in mind that a dryer fire can have catastrophic effects, so it’s essential to get your dryer vent cleaned as soon as possible.
Hot Clothes and Dryer
If your dryer and clothes feel excessively hot, it’s a sign that the air is not ventilated correctly. A clogged dryer vent prevents proper air circulation, leading to overheating of the dryer, which can cause a fire if left unchecked.
Vent Hood Flap Doesn’t Open Properly
The vent hood flap in your home plays an essential role in preventing outdoor elements such as rain, pests, and debris from entering your home’s ventilation system. Hence, it is crucial that the vent hood flap opens and closes properly. If you notice that the flap doesn’t open or close as it should, it could mean that your vent has something obstructing it or excessive build-up of debris. A blocked vent can cause issues like backdrafts and reduced airflow, which could lead to an environment that’s less comfortable and full of pollutants. If you suspect that your vent hood flap isn’t opening properly, it’s important to have it examined by a professional as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
In conclusion, cleaning your dryer vent is crucial for your safety and the longevity of your dryer. It is essential to have a regular cleaning schedule to avoid the accumulation of lint, dust, and other debris that causes clogging. Don’t wait until you notice the warning signs before taking action. Make sure to get your dryer vent cleaned by a professional at least once a year and more frequently if you have a large family.