Raise your hand if the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned was… never! I would be raising my hand if it weren’t for the call I finally made last week. Little did I know I was taking a key step in home fire safety and prevention.
Does your dryer take too long to get a load of towels dry, or even require more than one cycle? Is there more lint around the lint filter compartment than there used to be? If you go outside and look at the vent while the dryer is on, are the flaps barely open? Any of these signs can mean that your dryer vent is long past due for a cleaning!
After seeing excessive loose lint around the lint filter, I began to worry that more lint must be collecting somewhere else behind the scenes. I started thinking this was a fire waiting to happen. Our dryer is upstairs near the bedrooms which made me especially concerned about fire risk. So I called Firesafe Chimney Service to ask if they clean dryer vents, and sure enough, this is one of their standard services. So they came out the next day to take a look.
Tom Butkier, the business owner and licensed servicer for the company was on the job. First, he checked the hose attachment behind the dryer, and then cleaned the lint from the dryer hose to the wall. He removed a good amount of lint there. Next, he turned the dryer onto the air-fluff setting to send air circulating outward and went to check the vent outside. He climbed up with a ladder and took the vent cover off to look inside. To my disbelief, not only was the vent jam-packed with a trash-bag full of lint, there was also an entire old bird’s nest in there! It’s amazing that any air was venting through the system at all!
According to the U.S. Fire Administration,
- 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
- Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
- More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.
It is recommended by the USFA and FEMA to clean your lint filter after every dryer use and to have your dryer vent ductwork cleaned every year.
Tom also told me about an excellent wifi-enabled product now available that can alert you via an app on your phone and also send an alert to Firesafe Chimney when your dryer venting is showing signs of being clogged. It can also send alerts for dangers from your washing machine. This is a key tool for added safety and peace of mind, especially for anyone with rental properties or vacation homes. Simply contact Firesafe Chimney to find out more, then just order it, plug it in, and download the app!
And now that ‘after shot’ I’m sure you’ve been waiting for- Here it is, a spic-and-span dryer duct!
So, if it’s been more than a year… (or 10!) since you’ve had your dryer ductwork cleaned, and assuming you do laundry, I suggest you wait no longer. Free your dryer ducts from the debris accumulation that’s sure to be stuck in there, and eliminate this fire risk from your home.
Give Tom at Firesafe Chimney a call to clean your dryer vents and your chimney as well, (203) 270-9400 and tell him Linda sent you. You’ll be happy you did! 🙂
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