What if we told you there’s a murderer/arsonist sitting comfortably in your home right now? (Okay, it’s not actually a person but it is one of your home appliances.)
In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2010-2014, this home appliance singlehandedly caused:
- 15,970 home fires
- 13 deaths
- 440 injuries
- $238 million in property damage
The guilty appliance? Your dryer.
We’ll explain exactly how your dryer can wreak such havoc in your home and the simple thing you can do to prevent all of that.
How your dryer can cause a house fire
Regardless of whether your dryer is gas or electric, it uses heating elements to heat air. That hot air is then pushed into the dryer and dries your wet clothes.
Now, as your clothes are tumbling around in the hot air, small fibers fall off the clothing and (hopefully) get caught in the lint trap.
If you don’t regularly empty out that lint trap, it creates a fire hazard. Think about it: very dry, flammable cloth fibers + high heat = house fire.
But that’s not the only way your dryer can cause a house fire. You see, most dryers have what’s called a “dryer vent”. This dryer vent is a 4” circular plex hose that’s hooked up to the back of the dryer. The hose is used to exhaust fumes, lint and steam to the outside air.
But sometimes, your dryer vent gets clogged with lint and debris. And because it’s located in the back of your dryer, homeowners rarely notice when their dryer vent becomes clogged.
A clogged dryer vent can:
- Create a fire
- Push exhaust gases into your home
- Decrease the efficiency of your dryer (aka higher energy bills)
The solution? Dryer vent cleaning
Experts suggest having your dryer vent professionally cleaned at least once a year. But if you have a large family and do more than 4 or 5 loads of laundry a week, you might want to have your vent cleaned more than once a year.
A professional should clean your dryer vent immediately if you notice any of these signs:
- It takes longer and longer to dry your clothes
- The outside of the dryer gets excessively hot when in use
- You notice a burning smell when your dryer is running
- You’ve never had your dryer vents cleaned (or your last cleaning was over a year ago)
During a professional dryer vent cleaning, a tech will inspect your dryer and check for signs of a clogged dryer vent. If the vent is clogged, they’ll use powerful gas vacuums and special HEPA negative air machines to clear the clog.
And the best part? The cost of a dryer vent cleaning can usually be recovered over the next year by the savings in your electric bill.
For example, industry studies estimate that a clogged dryer vent can add up to $25 on your monthly energy bill. And, considering that the average dryer vent cleaning costs less than $200, you’d easily pay that back in less than 8 months.
Time for your annual dryer vent cleaning?
If you’ve spotted the signs of a clogged dryer vent, don’t wait.
Contact us and we can send over a professional who will clear your dryer vent and prevent it from starting a catastrophic house fire.
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