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Cleaning Your Dryer Vent Means A Savings Of Time And Money And Avoiding a Fire Hazard - Articles Surfing

Have you noticed that its starting to take longer and longer for your clothes to dry? Does a load of towels now take 2 or 3 drying cycles, and maybe still feel a little damp? If so, you're probably also paying higher gas and electric bills than you used to.

The solution may be simpler than you think. And less expensive.

Most people automatically think that the dryer itself is the problem, but it usually turns out that the venting pipe that exhausts the dryer to the outside of the house has become clogged with lint. If your dryer can't vent out that heat and moisture in the clothes, then your laundry can't dry. Over time, running the dryer this way will eventually create enough extra wear and tear on the dryer parts that it will ultimately lead to expensive dryer repairs. Worst of all, it also turns your dryer into a potential fire hazard.

Most dryers now have a safety feature that will either turn the dryer off or turn the dryer's heat off if it senses that it's overheating, which will happen when there's a buildup clogging the venting system. That's why it takes forever for your clothes to dry--the clothes will keep spinning but there'll be no heat. This feature is not completely reliable to depend on, and the older dryers are also not as likely to have adequate safety systems which will shut it off or stop the heat.

Who do you contact to get the venting system brushed out and inspected? Believe it or not, most appliance technicians will only deal with the dryer itself and want nothing to do with what it vents through. Generally the people to contact are chimney sweeps, and it is highly recommended to use one trained as a C-Det Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician if they are in your area.

In addition to cleaning out the accumulation in the venting system, there are other ways to help keep you safe when using your dryer.

One of the main causes for buildup in the dryer venting system is from forgetting to pull the pieces of paper, wrappers or Kleenex from the pockets before doing the laundry. Then add to that the hair (human and pet), sand, jewelry, money, and just about anything that you can think of, and you can see what it will lead to. The more of this kind of stuff that can be caught ahead of time and not allowed to get into the dryer, the better. It's crazy what winds up in there!

In 1998, the last year reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that there were 15,600 fires, resulting in 20 deaths and 370 injuries from dryer fires. The fire hazard, in many cases, is caused by the lint and paper that gets past the lint screen landing inside the dryer below the drum on the dryer floor. Have a qualified appliance repair person out to clean the interior of the dryer several times a year to minimize the chance of fire. Watch how the repair person does this. In some dryers, there's an access panel in the front of the dryer that can be easily removed so that the homeowner can do this. Clean the lint debris behind the dryer and keep combustible materials away from the dryer as much as possible.

Lint should be removed from the lint screen before each load of laundry. In addition, the fabric softener pads or sheets are fine to use but they leave a chemical film on the lint screen which will make your dryer harder to exhaust. Every few months, take the lint screen out, bring it to your kitchen sink and wash it with water, liquid dishwashing soap and a tooth brush.

The flexible connector hose between the dryer and the wall should be made from aluminum and not from flammable plastic. It should not be kinked or crushed, since this will also restrict the dryer's ability to vent properly and will cause the dryer to overheat. It's preferable that the connector hose only be long enough to go between the dryer and the wall with just a little bit of slack so that if the dryer is pulled out, the hose still stays connected.

If your dryer is located in a laundry closet or small room, the door to that room must be open while the dryer is running. A dryer needs make-up air--whatever amount of air it's exhausting out, it needs to bring the same amount of air in, without having to work for it. If the dryer cannot get that make-up air, it may overheat. A dryer needs at least 100 square inches of oxygen, the equivalent of a 10" x 10" window. Also, if there is an exhaust fan in the laundry room, the fan should be off when the dryer is running.

Because of the high incidence of dryer fires, never leave the house if the dryer is on and never go to bed with the dryer running either. We are all a nation of multitaskers and what better way to multitask than to put wet clothes into the dryer, run some errands and come home to a load of dry laundry. This is really taking chances and just not safe to do.

When looking for a company to clean the dryer vent system, make sure that the technician will use a brushing method to clean out the dryer venting system. Many companies simply use a vacuum or blower, which will not remove the lint accumulation in the venting system. This becomes that much more essential if the lint is moist, since it takes on a consistency close to paper mache and will otherwise stick like paste to the inside of the pipe.

So if you are in need of this being done, just think about how much money you will be saving and how much joy it will put back into doing the laundry! Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but at least it will be a little less of a chore.

Submitted by:

Rick Pocock

Rick Pocock and his wife Terri have been in the chimney sweep and dryer vent business in San Diego, California for over 14 complaint-free years! Please visit http://www.swedesweep.com and http://www.dryerventsbyswede.com for more information about the importance of having these services performed.



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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