When Is It Time to Get Your Dryer Vent Cleaned?


You might not have noticed but there’s a rash of fires being caused by air dryer vents in the Houston area recently. Actually, there was a great post on the topic with Houston Fire Department officials saying that fire fighters respond to many fires each month caused by lint build-up. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) claims in the U.S., fires caused by dryer vents have surpassed those caused by chimneys. The United States Fire Association (USFA) released a report recently that 34 percent of all clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

Among the contributing factors to air duct fires is that the configurations of longer vents in newer houses. Home builders used to install dryer vents which were only a few feet long. Now they’re installing vents which are everywhere from 15-30ft long. In some cases, the clothes dryers are installed on the second floor which requires more bends in the vent pipes compared to in the past. The problem is very dangerous because the longer, progressively bent drier vent pipes are not able to emit the dirt and surplus debris outside the wall of your property.

Another factor is that the PVC plastic piping that has been utilized before. Because lint has a very, very low flash point, even lower that a piece of paper, it is highly flammable and may be ignited with a small spark. If the dryer vent gets clogged and the motor happens to be close to the dryer opening, then any little the lint could ignite. Rigid metal and elastic aluminum vents are being used by contractors and electricians when installing dryer vents since they can work as a radiant heat barrier and contain flames for as many as five minutes that gives emergency services enough time to reply usually clean dryer vent.

According to the Community Association Underwriters of America, homeowners should adhere to the following guidelines for appropriate air duct maintenance and cleaning.

1. Lint ought to be taken out from the lint filter before or after each load. If the filter is ripped it should be replaced since the lint may fall into the dryer.

2. The lint filter ought to be washed with soap and water regularly so as to remove any residue left behind by fabric softener sheets.

3. Homeowners are encouraged to inspect and clean outside wall dampers regularly.

4. Lint that falls behind and beneath your dryer should be vacuumed regularly.

5. They need to also disconnect and clean the dryer duct and venting every two years. If the clothes drier is utilized more often or there are longer vent pipes then it needs to be cleaned yearly. The CUA suggests hiring an expert dryer vent cleaning company to do this service if you’re not able to.

6. Your clothes dryer should be cleaned and serviced by an expert, factory-authorized service agent each two to three years.

A few other tips include avoiding placing any type of material that has absorbed any flammable liquid in the clothes dryer and not let your clothes drier run as you are out of the house or asleep. Air dryer port and clothes dryer fires are going up and your nearest and dearest will appreciate every step you take to prevent a fire.

American Fireplace Inc. provides light commercial and residential air duct cleaning and chimney cleaning services. For over 20 decades, it has served more than 10,000 clients in Houston, Texas. We Care About Your Air!

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