Dryer vents are not high on most home maintenance to-do lists. In fact, they rarely even get on such lists in the first place unless something dramatic goes wrong!
But these simple and usually well-hidden accessories bear a surprising share of the responsibility to keep your home warm, dry and safe, especially during the long and arduous winter.
Dryer vents are not only linked to home fire outbreaks across the continent, but they also play their own sneaky role in increasing your winter heating costs.
In this post, find out what you need to know about your dryer vent that could be costing you in more ways than just dollars and cents!
2 Warning Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Maintenance
These two common warning signs of a neglected dryer vent are often overlooked by even the most vigilant homeowners. Often, this is simply because most of us don’t really think or talk about dryer vent function, so we don’t know what to watch for.
1. Your dryer could double as an extra freezer
Does your empty dryer feel icy-cold when you open it up during the winter? If so, you may have assumed this is just because it is cold outside.
As it turns out, the real reason is likely due to an unsealed or poorly sealed vent that is letting the cold winter air back into your home. This, in turn, transforms your dryer into one of the least energy-efficient appliances in your whole house.
2. Your dryer starts spitting lint balls like a champ
When you start finding soft fluff on top of, inside and behind your dryer, you can know for sure there is a dangerous amount of accumulated lint inside the dryer vent and deep inside the dryer appliance itself. But by the time this occurs, it is also important to recognize you have a fire risk brewing.
Ideally, you want to take preventative action before you start seeing lint balls appear, by keeping your lint traps clean and inspecting behind the unit.
3 Essential Dryer Maintenance Tasks
If you just read through the previous section here and found yourself unconsciously nodding, your dryer and its vent system need your help. But what exactly should you do to remedy the issues you are now aware of?
Follow these steps to have your dryer functioning better, drawing less heat to do the same job and operating much more safely for the rest of the winter.
1. Schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning service
Is a professional dryer vent cleaning really necessary? This is a normal and smart question to ask. Our answer is yes, and we will tell you why.
In addition to the front-access lint trap that you probably clean out after each dryer cycle, there are other lint traps deep in the recesses of your dryer that you can’t readily access.
If you think there is a lot of lint in your accessible dryer lint trap – the one you clean out at least every week or so – just think for a moment about how much trapped lint must be inside the inner vents you have never cleaned!
Here, it is easy to see why poorly maintained dryer systems are responsible for so many home fires each year.
A professional dryer vent cleaning service uses the same negative-pressure commercial vacuum technology that is used to clean out your air ducts.
This system safely and securely removes all trapped matter and sanitizes the duct system, erasing the home fire threat and restoring your dryer to optimal performance.
2. Reseal your dryer vent exhaust vent tube
When was the last time you checked the seal on your dryer vent? Most dryers are vented to the outside (although some may be temporarily rerouted back indoors in winter for an extra dose of warm humid air).
In either case, if the seal that is supposed to ring the dryer vent tube is missing or has degraded, this is absolutely going to cause cold winter air to backdraft its way inside your dryer and out into your home again.
If your vent tube has flaps on the portion that vents to the exterior of your home, these may not be heavy enough to withstand the force of winter winds, especially during seasonal storms. If you find this to be the case, you may need to secure them with something stronger to keep them in place.
3. Clean out your dryer vent exhaust vent tube
Finally, if you can’t think back to the last time (if ever) you cleaned out the lint in your dryer vent exhaust tube, now is definitely a good time to do it!
Lint, dust and trapped debris build up inside and around the edges of the tube, often to proportions that homeowners are stunned to discover.
This is especially the case if your existing vent tube has any kind of filter on the end that runs from the dryer itself. Sometimes the filter can get so clogged with lint it refuses to let any more pass through, which means potentially flammable lint is now backing up into the dryer itself.
This is so dangerous! You can take apart your vent tube yourself if time permits and give it a good dusting and washing outside. Or let our dryer vent cleaning professionals do it for you during your vent cleaning service.
Get in Touch
Is your hard-working clothes dryer overdue for some much-needed, well-earned professional maintenance and cleaning? We can help!
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.