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5 Warning Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning To Prevent a Fire

You probably know to clean your dryer’s lint filter. But did you know that your dryer’s vent system also need cleaning?

Lint builds up in the dryer’s vent over time, causing the dryer to overheat. And the lint is so combustible that it can easily catch on fire.

That’s what happened to this family that lost everything because their house caught fire due to lint build-up in the dryer vent hose.

This isn’t the only time that has happened, either. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 15,520 fires were caused by dryers between 2006-2010. Most of those fires were from failing to clean the dryer vent.

So, how do you know your dryer vent needs cleaning? Look for these signs.

1. Drying your clothes takes longer

You’ll know your clothes dryer vent needs cleaning if your clothes are not dry at the end of a normal cycle.

Here’s why:

The dryer vent is designed to push our hot, moist air so your dryer can pull in more dry air to continue the drying process.

But if the dryer vent is clogged with lint, that moist air stays in the dryer, making it hard for your clothes to dry off.

This not only causes the dryer to overheat, but it also:

  • Increases the dryer’s wear and tear, reducing its usable life span.
  • Increases your electric bills.

2. Burning smell when you run the dryer

That burning smell when you run your dryer? It’s probably dryer lint, which is very flammable.

If you smell a burning odor, stop using your dryer immediately and have it inspected ASAP.

3. Dryer is very hot on the outside

When the vent does not exhaust air properly, your dryer will feel very hot to the touch at the end of a normal cycle.

4. You see lint coming out the outside vent opening

The outside vent opening is where the air from your dryer exits into the world.

If you see lint around the opening, chances are, the vent system needs cleaning.

5. You haven't had the dryer vent cleaned in a year

You should have your dryer vent ducts inspected and cleaned annually.

You can either clean it yourself using a dryer vent cleaning kit or hire a professional to clean your dryer vents for you. Your before and after should look like this:

Before and after pictures of a dryer vent cleaning.

In conclusion, neglecting to clean your dryer vent can have serious consequences. Not only can it lead to longer drying times, decreased energy efficiency, and damage to your dryer, but it can also create a fire hazard that puts your home and family at risk. By being aware of the warning signs and taking action promptly, you can help prevent a potentially catastrophic event.

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