Do I Really Need to Clean My Dryer Vent Every Year?
As the weather outside turns colder and colder, chances are your laundry loads are getting bigger and bigger with a buildup of mittens, caps, jackets, and sweaters. How often should I clean my dryer vent? Be sure to keep your family safe by cleaning your dryer vent yearly, and inspect the vent and hose at least every six months.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Dryer Vent?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) explains that lint buildup in your dryer or exhaust duct can block the flow of air and cause overheating, resulting in a fire. According to the CPSC, overheated dryers are the cause of approximately 15,500 preventable fires every year; and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports an annual average of 51 deaths and 380 injuries. Rather than waiting for your dryer to turn into a ticking time bomb, a best practice is to have your dryer vent cleaned every year, especially if your dryer vent duct was not designed or installed properly, or if your duct has a lot of twists and turns.
Why Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?
Aside from the risk of fire, a clogged vent can:
- Cause the dryer to work harder to perform its task.
- Increase energy consumption.
- Accelerate the failure of the thermostat.
- Significantly reduce the lifespan of the appliance.
How Do I Clean My Dryer Vent?
Contact a certified dryer vent cleaning professional. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) trains and certifies technicians, and endorses methods using high powered air pressure tools, which are unsafe for use by anyone not properly trained to use them.
If I clean my dryer vent regularly, how do I maximize the cleaning? One thing you can do at home to help prevent dryer mishaps is to make sure that you remove any lint from the filter after every load of laundry.
More info? For more information on how to clean my dryer vent, check out our other post, How to Clean Your Dryer Vent the Right Way.