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How Much Do You Know About Dryer Vent Safety?

well-maintained dryer vent increase safety

In the late 1990s, the U.S. CPSC or Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that nearly 76% of households had at least one clothes dryer which means that more than 74 million households have an electric or gas dryer in the country. The report also included that over 14,500 fires, 300 injuries, 20 deaths and property damages worth over $75 million were caused by dryer fires.

Out of those fires, electric dryers were more than two times likely to be the root of the fire than their gas counterparts. This happens because of their higher heat discharge which can exacerbate the build-up of lint. Dryer fires often originate from two common areas which are the lint trap and dryer vents.

It is evident that maintaining safe dryer vents are one of your top priorities in a property, but how much do you know how to keep them that way and your family safe in the process? Read on to find out more on what you should keep an eye out for.

Clean the exhaust ducts and dryer vents periodically

CPSC have outlined several actions that can help homeowners and individuals mitigate the risks of dryer fires from clothes dryers that are prone to overheating. Here are important points to note down:

  • An exhaust duct or vent may be blocked when there is a lack of a strong discharge of moist warm air
  • The ducting has to be disconnected before a potential blockage can be inspected
  • Disconnecting the exhaust duct from the dryer is required if you want to remove a blockage in the exhaust path
  • Remember to clean the duct when there is lint build-up
  • Just like any other air ducts, the ducting has to be properly reconnected to exterior vent and dryer before resuming operations

Replace any incorrect ducting

You should replace any accordion-type, metal or plastic foil ducting material as they are not approved for dryer use. You must replace the aforementioned with corrugated semi-rigid metal ducts or rigid ducts that meet the UL 2158A standards. You will find that most manufacturers specify the use of such ducts which can provide optimal airflow. Flexible plastic ducts are flammable and can easily trap lint which is more susceptible to crushing and kinks, and can obstruct the dryer’s air discharge.

Clean the lint screen after every use

There are several indications that inform you that there is lint build-up in your venting and dryer system. The symptoms may include:

  • There is an obvious burning smell in the laundry room
  • There is a strange increase in humidity levels within the laundry room
  • The flapper of the outside exhaust vent does not open as much and could mean that there is low exhaust velocity
  • The exterior of the dryer gets really hot
  • Your clothes are hotter than usual at the end of the drying cycle
  • Your clothes do not full dry
  • Clothes take longer to dry

You can clean the lint traps by removing the filter from the dryer first. You should implement this practice before and after each use of your dryer. You should also vacuum the lint trap’s housing cavity on a monthly basis.

AIR DUCT

Process in which a skilled, and certified technician, uses “POWER VAC” to remove dust, dirt, and other contaminants from the HVAC system. Air duct cleaning consists of vacuuming, air washing and scrubbing all of the accessible components using a high pressure, pneumatic equipment capable of reaching every nook and cranny. That includes diffusers, branches, plenums, as well as a blower fan and a coil when needed. It is recommended to sanitize the ductwork for its optimum performance. Duration of the cleaning process depends on the complexity of the HVAC system.

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DRYER VENT

Process of removing lint and other contaminants from the air vent. Clogged dryer vents are among most common causes of house fires in the United States. If your dryer has not been cleaned in over a year, it is very important to do so. Duration of the dryer vent cleaning depends on its complexity as well as the length of the air duct.

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WATER DAMAGE

Process of restoration of any flooded area and bringing it back to its original condition. Restoration consists of removing any surfaces that came in contact with water, cleaning out the area, “air scrubbing” and drying infected space, sanitizing as well as mold remediation and restoration when needed. Flooding, faulty appliances, overflowing toilets, storms and hurricanes are among most common water damage scenarios.

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STEAM CLEANING

Steam cleaning consists of deep carpet cleaning, tile cleaning and upholstery cleaning. High temperature steam deeply cleans and sanitizes all the surfaces leaving a pleasant and fresh scent. Powerful steam cleaning machines along with environment friendly detergents can remove any difficult stain.

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