Out of sight, out of mind is certainly true when it comes to dryer duct cleaning. Even the most conscientious homeowners either forget routine upkeep or don’t even know that it is necessary. However, according to the Building Performance Institute, clogged dryer vents are responsible for over 17,000 fires each year, resulting in over $236 million in property damage.
Most homeowners think that cleaning the lint filter after every use, and occasionally vacuuming the trap, is sufficient to keep the duct hose clean. The reality is that the bulk of the laundry lint pushes through to the vent hose, and that is where the clogging begins. There are several ways to tell if your hose is clogged.
- Drying cycles are taking longer to run
- Clothes have a musty smell
- Dry clothing is hot to the touch.
- The exterior vent flap does not open
- The laundry area is hotter than the rest of the house
Any of these signs mean that your duct hose is clogged and you are at a greater risk for a fire. If your laundry is in an interior part of the house, then your chances of fire are increased as the longer length of hose means more lint and dirt are liable to ignite.
Aside from being a fire hazard, clogged a clogged dryer duct creates other problems. Your dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in your home, and dirty ducts mean the appliance has to work that much longer to get the job done. Mold and mildew can also build up with the lint trapped in the hose (if you ever have wet or damp lint, that is a big sign of major build-up), causing respiratory problems for family members with allergies or asthma.
You should put a professional dryer check-up on your home maintenance schedule, just like you do for the gutters and the roof every fall. We have fifteen years experience on Long Island, so contact Greensite for a consultation.