Dryer vents get stuffed and clogged with dirty lint faster than you might expect. This is especially true if you have a big family with lots of laundry, or if you run a commercial laundromat. Loss of efficiency, overheating, and backwashed lint in your clean laundry are the mildest problems this can cause. The most severe are several orders of magnitude worse. Stuffed dryer vents are fire hazards and in fact one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States! Professional dryer vent cleaning can save your life as well as your laundry machine.
Fires Caused By Dryer Vents?
It’s more likely than you think! Every year, nearly three thousand house fires are caused by faulty clothes dryers in the United States. The average yearly costs of this amount to thirty-five million dollars in property loss, one hundred injuries, and five deaths. The most common reason for these fires is insufficient exhaust vent cleaning. That means that the bulk of these tragic incidents could have easily been prevented.
How Do Dryer Fires Even Happen?
Fabrics are flammable materials, but most of the time they’re in dense enough weaves and humid enough conditions to resist a few sparks. When clothes and blankets go through the washer and dryer, tiny particles of their material come off as lint, which is then expelled. Most of the lint and dust gets caught by the filter, but a little makes it passed and blows out through the exhaust vent. Over time, lint builds up in the vent, with the exhaust heat keeping it hot, dry, and aerated. Perfect conditions for a fire; one little spark can make dry lint go up like lighter fluid. Inside the enclosed space of the exhaust duct, this can mean a pressurized fireball that sets anything nearby alight.
Lint and Dust Blockage In Dryer Vents
The buildup of material in a dryer’s vent doesn’t just create fuel for a potential fire. It also increases the chances of a spark being created in the first place, with the danger increasing the more time passes without cleaning. Lint and dust in the dryer vent make it harder for air to pass through and catches waste heat inside the system instead of letting it flush out. Dryers run hot, and a blocked vent can get even hotter. Eventually, the dry lint can start to burn just from the heat during prolonged dryer use. On top of that, if enough lint backs up inside the duct, the backflow will start getting into the dryer’s mechanism and wiring. Mechanical stress, short circuits, and other spark-producing events ensue.
Regular Dryer Vent Cleaning Can Prevent This
Clearing out a dryer vent takes a little bit of doing, but professional cleaners with the right training and equipment can do it easily. If you have a small household and don’t often put big loads through the wash, one good cleaning session per year ought to be enough. If you have a bigger family or run a commercial laundry room, you’ll need a session every four months to ensure safety. The local team of expert San Jose dryer vent cleaning technicians you need is here to help whenever you need it!