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Why Do You Need to Have the Dryer Vents Cleaned?

dryer-vent-lint-cleaningAt 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc., we’re advocates for home safety, encouraging homeowners to schedule professional chimney sweep services in order to prevent dangerous chimney and home fires. We also encourage regular dryer vent cleaning, but some people are not sure how the two are connected and why dryer vent cleaning is a necessary home safety measure.

Here, we discuss what you may risk by failing to clean the vents that lead from your dryer to the outdoors. We also give you some tools to detect potential safety risks, but be sure to call a professional technician for a thorough inspection and cleaning of your dryer ducts.

Dryer-related fires are far too common

According to the NFPA (the National Fire Protection Association), there were 16,800 dryer-related fires in the US in 2010. And, unfortunately, dozens of those fires resulted in fatalities, while hundreds more injured people in the home. Structural damage is nearly inevitable after a dryer fire. And the leading reason for these fires is a failure to clean the dryer.

That’s right: dryer vent fires are typically completely preventable. Cleaning the lint trap is a start, but no matter how diligent you are, lint and other debris can still build up in the dryer vent that leads to the outdoors. This vent is for heat, smoke, and other byproducts to vent to the outdoors, but it can catch fire when flammable materials build up.

You may be able to detect a dryer fire risk

We recommend scheduling dryer vent cleaning once or twice a year or so, whether or not you experience problems with the performance of your dryer. Maintaining your dryer vents now can help you prevent a catastrophe later on. However, we also feel it’s important to give you the tools to spot a potential hazard as soon as you can.

Look out for these signs of a problem with your dryer or dryer vents and call in a technician before you use your dryer again.

  • You feel excessive heat when you open up the dryer to remove the clothes.
  • The dryer takes a long time to finish up a cycle.
  • The dryer stops before a cycle is complete.
  • You smell a faint burning from the dryer.
  • Clothes are still wet at the end of the cycle.

Modern dryer ducts pose an even greater risk than they used to

Today, dryer ducts may, unfortunately, pose even more of a fire risk than they once did. Long ago, dryers were always kept close to a wall adjacent to the outdoors, so that the vent was a short length of tubing that led directly outdoors.

Today, your dryer ducts can be more complex, with laundry rooms located in any part of the home and ducts that may have all sorts of twists and turns. That’s why it’s more important than ever before to call in professional technicians with the right tools for the job to ensure the dryer vents are completely cleaned out.

For thorough dryer vent cleaning services in Minneapolis, MN, contact the experts at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc.

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