You may think of doing your laundry as a relatively low impact and low danger activity. But if your dryer is not properly installed and maintained, it could well be a disaster waiting to happen.
There are thousands of house fires started every year by clothes dryers. These happen in a couple of ways.
Too Much Lint in the Machine
Cleaning out your lint trap and other lint in the laundry line is important for more than just making your dryer run more efficiently. Dryer lint left unchecked can translate to a build up of lint inside the machine. While you may not realize this, that lint is extremely flammable. It’s essentially very airy cloth remnants and doesn’t take much to ignite. Just a spark or two from your machine can start a fire that can quickly get out of hand.
In addition to your regular cleaning of the lint trap, you also should make sure to have a professional come out at least once a year to completely clean the lint out of the machine.
Lint and Debris in the Line
Not all lint gets caught up in the machine. Some of it continues out of your dryer and into the chutes and tubes leading from the dryer to the outside of your home. There are numerous points along the path where it can get stuck, on the walls, around a curve or even at the termination point in the vent. This is another area you need to have regularly cleaned by a professional to keep build up to a minimum.
Lint Near and Ignition Point
If you have a gas-powered clothes dryer, you need to be even more aware of the threats of fire connected to this appliance and keeping it clean. Since natural gas appliances have pilot lights, that means there is already a flame waiting for any lint to catch on fire.
More Than Lint
It’s not just lint that may be clogging up your dryer vent and ducts, but this is an area that bugs and rodents love. If they can create an access from the outside portion of the vent, they will be happy to move in to the line and set up shop. Many a homeowner has been surprised to find a mouse nest or even a bird nest inside their dryer vent.
The easiest way to make sure your home is safe from a fire threat related to your dryer is to make sure the dryer and the line are well maintained. You should look for a certified dryer exhaust duct technician to take care of this for you. Also, if you have gas appliances, let them know in advance, so they can be prepared to clean all aspects of that piece of machinery.
Dryer Vent Wizard, Get the Lint Out is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and the largest chain of dryer vent cleaning, repair, replacement and alternation specialists in the U.S. with nearly 60 franchisees in major markets in the U.S.