When was the last time you had your clothes dryer and vent pipe cleaned? According to the NFPA, laundry rooms were responsible for 4.5% of all house fires resulted in 51 civilian deaths, 380 civilian injuries, and $236 million in direct property damage.
Dryer lint is highly flammable. If you have never seen dryer lint on fire the next time you clean out the lint filter in your clothes dryer, (which I hope you clean out between every load you put in the dryer) take the lint and put it in the BBQ and put a match to it.
The lint filter does not catch all the lint. When the dryer stops the lint in the vent pipe settles on the wall of the pipe and because it is damp it sticks to the pipe. Over time, the build-up of lint in the vent pipe restricts the air flow causing back pressure in your clothes dryer and your dryer overheats. The longer the length of pipe and the more elbows you have the more back pressure you will have.
It is important to have as short a length of pipe as possible and to have rigid pipe which is smooth on the inside and can be cleaned easily. Clothes dryers, like fireplaces, should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year.
At The Ancaster Handyman, we clean the duct pipe similar to how a chimney sweep would. We attach a brush to the end of a drill and feed it in from the outside vent first then from behind the clothes dryer. As we feed it back and forth, the drill rotates and the brush loosens all of the lint causing it all fall to the bottom of the pipe which is then simply vacuumed up. If you have a plastic flexible hose behind your dryer you need to replace it with a metal flexible hose.
Additional Safety Tips for Your Laundry Room
For your family’s safety never go to bed with the dryer on. Make sure you have a smoke detector in good working order in your laundry room. Do not leave clothes stacked on top of your clothes dryer. If your clothes are taking a longer time to dry or do not smell fresh when you take them out, it could be a sign that your dryer needs cleaning. Do not procrastinate getting your clothes dryer cleaned, you could lose your house or worse, your life in a fire.
For more tips like this and for some great handyman tips, please be sure to check out the rest of my blog.