Preventing Dryer Fires from Angies LIst
More than 15,000 fires are
associated with clothes dryers occur in the U.S. annually, according to the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
depend on their clothes dryer to help provide a more convenient method for
completing the task of drying their clean clothing. Unfortunately many times
residential property owners do not address the necessity for properly
maintaining the dryer vent attached
to these appliance units.
Angie's List, the nation's leading provider of consumer
reviews, asked highly
rated dryer vent companies to weigh in about cleaning.
debris resulting from clothing lint, nesting birds and other materials
accumulate over time in the dryer vent causing problems such as reduced air
flow to the dryer, backed up dryer exhaust gases and fire hazards.
Signs it's time to clean:
does not dry completely after a normal drying cycle.
time for clothing takes longer than 35 to 40 minutes in duration.
musty odor is noticed in the clothing following the drying cycle.
seems unusually hot to the touch after a complete drying cycle.
dryer vent hood flap does not properly open as it is designed to do during the
operation of the dryer.
is noticed within the outside dryer vent opening.
heat is noticed within the room in which the dryer is being operated.
amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap for the dryer during operation.
visible sign of lint and debris is noticed around the lint filter for the
odor is noticed from dryer sheets that are used during the drying cycle.
Angie's List Tips: Dryer vent cleaning
- How much does it cost? Dryer vent cleaning is relatively
inexpensive given its benefits. A cleaning typically costs between $100 and
$150, depending on the length and location of the vent. In addition to the
reduced threat of fire, a cleaning can actually pay for itself in less than a
year through the improved efficiency with less drying time required.
- Hire a pro: Though
there are do-it-yourself vent cleaning kits available, they typically aren't as
effective as the tools used by professionals. One
advantage to having an experienced, qualified and reliable professional clean
your system is that he or she has likely seen just about every make and model
and will likely be able to clean the interior components more efficiently than
you will. Plus, you'll have the assurance that the job was done correctly and
- Start with an inspection: A qualified company should do an
inspection of the dryer vent prior to a cleaning.
- Licensing requirements: The Chimney Safety Institute of America
recommends that homeowners look for the Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician
- Annual cleanings: Dryer vents should be cleaned at least
once a year to reduce the risk of fires, gas leaks, and operate efficiently.
- Do not restrict airflow: The transition vent between the dryer and
the wall goes INSIDE the pipe leading to the wall. Also, the length for the
transition vent should be as short as possible.
Angie's List Tips: Tips to decrease
the use of dryer sheets used when drying clothing. Instead of dryer sheets
for liquid fabric softener.
operate clothing dryers for intervals of 30 to 40 minutes per batch of
laundry. This allows more air circulation within the dryer and less lint
build up from occurring.
possible hang clothing such as heavy bedding, pillows and other large articles
outside to line dry.