Unfortunately, few homeowners even realize what a fire hazard the clothes dryer can be. One of the main reasons for fires caused by this appliance is the dryer vent. Just because you clean off the lint filter before or after you dry each load does not mean your dryer’s venting system is free from lint and debris. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the US Fire Administration cited clothes dryers as the cause of 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries each year between 2002 and 2004. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you have your clothes dryer vent professionally cleaned annually by a CSIA-certified dryer exhaust technician, such as one of our technicians at Aelite Chimney Specialties. We would like to share some clothes dryer vent safety tips from the CSIA to inform you of how to prevent a disastrous home fire caused by an unsafe and dirty dryer venting system.
Be Aware of and Follow All Manufacturer’s Specifications and Local Building Codes
Dryer ducts are required to be at least four inches in diameter and, additionally, as large as the dryer outlet. Another common specification is the developed length of the dryer’s exhaust duct not be over 25 feet.
The Exhaust System of Your Clothes Dryer Is Independent
Your dryer’s venting system must be separate from all other systems in your home, and it also must exit outdoors and not through a chimney, attic, or crawl space.
Make Sure Your Dryer Is Equipped with a Back Draft Damper
The termination hood of your dryer’s exhaust vent, which is located on the outside of your home, should be equipped with a back draft damper to keep the exhaust from coming back inside your home. If you notice that it is taking longer than usual for your clothes to dry, check to see if the outside exhaust opening is clogged with lint.
Metal Transition Ducts Should Be a Part of Your Dryer Exhaust Vent System
Between the dryer and the exhaust duct, metal transition ducts should be used. This sustains proper air flow and drying time.
Flexible Transition Ducts Cannot Be Used in Certain Areas
This type of transition duct should never be used in an attic, a crawl space, or inside a wall.
The CSIA Certification Is the Only Nationally Recognized Certification of Its Kind
When you schedule your dryer vent cleaning, be sure the technician is a CSIA-Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician. All of our technicians at Aelite Chimney Specialists are certified by the CSIA.
Never Use Your Clothes Dryer Without the Lint Filter in Place
Be sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Also remove any lint that has collected around the drum.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Operating Instructions
Never overload your dryer, and never leave your dryer running when you leave the house or go to sleep.
If you would like to know more clothes dryer vent safety tips, contact Aelite Chimney Specialties. Our expert staff is happy to help you prevent a house fire caused by your clothes dryer.