How long have you had your clothes dryer? Has the interior ever been cleaned?
If you are like most homeowners today, your answer is likely either “no” or “I don’t know.”
This is totally normal – after all, it’s not as if we’ve had a massive public education campaign on the dangers of a neglected dryer.
Yet there are risks, and not insignificant ones. The most significant risk is the danger of a home fire, a tragic event that happens every year to homeowners who either did not know their dryer needed cleaning or simply left that chore until far too late.
In this post, learn why your dryer vent really does need to be professionally cleaned.
Also learn how often this cleaning should take place, what happens during a dryer vent cleaning, how to tell when your dryer needs to be cleaned and more.
Why Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning?
Dryer vent cleaning definitely isn’t one of our most popular service offerings, and yet it should be, because the clothes dryer is one of those appliances that works far harder for you than its maintenance record typically indicates.
A professional dryer vent cleaning is serious business because there can be some very serious dangers hiding in your dryer’s innermost workings.
After more than a few decades visiting dryers in Ontario, we can state with confidence that we find some pretty strange things inside the vents – everything from that missing sock to bird nests to insects to mounds of built-up dust and debris.
It is this dust and debris that is most concerning from the vantage point of a home fire risk.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), just over 15,000 home fires occur in North American annually.
A full one-third of these, 5,000 home fires, can be directly linked to clogged dryer vents.
Of these, there are nine fatalities, 420 injuries and a whopping $222 million in home damage claims that can be directly linked to home fires arising from clogged dryer vents. These are serious statistics indeed – no one should have to lose their life because of lint trapped in a dryer vent!
But My Clothes Dryer Has a Blocked Vent Detector!
If you have one of the newer generation of clothes dryers, your dryer probably has some kind of sensor system designed to detect when the lint trap gets full enough to be blocked.
Unfortunately, according to Consumer Reports, most of these sensors simply are not sensitive enough to alert you before you are seriously at risk of all that trapped lint igniting.
In other words, by the time your sensor alert goes off, your dryer is completely clogged up with lint and could ignite at any moment if temperatures get hot enough.
What Is a Dryer Vent Cleaning?
If you have ever had your indoor air duct system professionally cleaned, you are already familiar with the equipment used to clean a clothes dryer.
The professional-grade vacuum equipment uses negative pressure to safely remove all trapped lint, dust, debris and toxic material so it does not escape into your indoor air.
Then the rotating brush literally scrubs the inside of your dryer ventilation system so you essentially have a brand-new dryer at the end of the service.
How Long Does a Dryer Vent Cleaning Take?
On average, it takes about a half-hour to professionally clean and sanitize a clothes dryer ventilation system.
However, for larger commercial or industrial systems or for clothes dryers with extra-long ventilation pipes, it may take up to two hours.
How Often Should You Have Your Dryer Vent Cleaned?
Your usage patterns will in part dictate how frequently you should have your dryer ventilation system cleaned.
At a minimum for the purposes of home fire safety, Consumer Reports recommends scheduling a professional dryer vent cleaning at least once annually.
How Can You Tell When Your Dryer Vent Needs to be Cleaned?
There are some warning signs to look for that indicate it is time to schedule your next dryer vent cleaning service.
- Your dryer is taking longer to dry the same amount of laundry.
- Your clothes and/or the exterior of the clothes dryer feels very hot to the touch after a cycle.
- The temperature in the laundry room gets noticeably warmer after a dry cycle.
- When you walk around the back to check the exhaust vent, you can’t feel any air coming out or it only comes out in fits and spurts.
- You collect mountains of lint from the lint trap even after drying a smallish load of clothes.
- Your clothes are still damp or smell musty after a dry cycle.
- You smell burning while your clothes dryer is in operation.
- You have trouble opening the dryer vent hood flap (the vent flap to the exterior of your home).
- Lint begins to collect around your clothes dryer, its hoses and connection points.
If any or all of these warning signs are present, you are overdue for a professional dryer vent cleaning service!
How to Choose a Dryer Vent Cleaning Service
One of the most important things to look for in any professional dryer vent cleaning service is certification through NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association). This non-profit organization governs standards and best practices for the industry as a whole and provides voluntary certification programs to its members.
We are proud to say that Clean Air Solutions Hamilton is a NADCA-certified provider of professional dryer vent cleaning and professional indoor air duct cleaning services.
Get in Touch
Are you concerned your clothes dryer may be a home safety risk? Schedule a free no-obligation quote to put your mind at ease!