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Clothes Dryer Vent Safety Tips

Here are some helpful safety tips about clothes dryers

Here are some helpful safety tips about clothes dryers

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.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Clothes Dryer Vent Safety Tips

Dryer Vent Cleaning for Home Safety

Most homeowners recognize the importance of regularly scheduled home maintenance. Every year, a homeowner will schedule an appointment to have the gutters cleaned, chimney swept or even the pipes winterized. But many do not know the importance of an annual dryer vent cleaning. Improperly maintained dryer vents are responsible for over 15,000 house fires each year; according to the National Fire Protection Association, this is 1 out of every 22 structural fires. While a professional vent system cleaning is imperative to ensuring the safety of your home and family, there are also steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of a house fire.

Choose the proper equipment

Having your chimney swept regularly is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your family’s safety. Let the team at Aelite perform this professional chimney service today.

Having your chimney swept regularly is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your family’s safety. Let the team at Aelite perform this professional chimney service today.

It’s always best to have your washer and dryer professionally installed. A professional will immediately recognize any potential fire hazards, and can recommend tools and products that will prove safer for your family. Several years ago, it was possible to install a dryer simply by plugging it into an outlet and attaching a metal crimped duct between the dryer and the wall. Today, however, professionals have recognized the hazard presented by variations in equipment, whether they be duct length, bolts used for attachment, or the tendency of a duct to catch highly flammable lint in cracks and crimps, thereby increasing the risk of ignition. Gas clothes dryers, if not properly ventilated, can cause a backup of carbon monoxide into the living space of your home. Proper installation and inspection of your dryer vent system can prevent any hazardous condition from becoming a life threatening emergency.

Know your appliances

A dryer works by evaporating as much as a gallon of water per load of wet laundry. In the process of evaporation, your dryer removes lint from the fabric of your clothes, but only a portion of this lint is collected in the lint trap. The remainder will travel through the duct and ventilation system, until it is deposited, ideally, outdoors. If your dryer is taking longer to dry a load, or if you notice an apparent burning smell, it is likely a hazardous condition which needs to be addressed immediately. In addition, your dryer’s external surfaces or the clothes themselves may become hotter than the norm for a load, or the laundry room may become more humid after using your appliances. Any difference you may notice could be an indication that a dryer vent cleaning appointment is necessary.

Choosing a professional

Not only should dryer installation be completed by a professional, but dryer vent cleaning should be as well. Taking action to keep your laundry area as clean as possible and being aware of any, even subtle, changes in your appliance’s behavior are two excellent preventive measures against house fire. However, a professional technician will not only be able to clean your dryer vent system thoroughly, but will also notice any imminent threats to the safety of your home. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors claims that a large number of house fires can be prevented by proper cleaning and inspection for materials. The diameter of the ventilation ducts, the installation of an exhaust vent flapper, and the proper location of a vent’s outlet can all be inspected by your professional. Check local reviews, and review sites such as Angie’s List and the Better Business Bureau to learn about others’ experiences with your technician. Hire a professional who holds certifications with CSIA, the Chimney Sweep Institute of America. And finally, choose a professional who has experience with dryer vent cleaning. An annual cleaning and inspection of your dryer vent system will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of your home.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Dryer Vent Cleaning for Home Safety

Hire a Professional to Clean Your Dryer Vents

The Importance of Using Certified Dryer Vent Technicians

When the time comes to have work done around the house, there are many different places that homeowners can find contractors. It can be tempting to simply go to an online classified page and find someone who is willing to do the job at a very low price. However, when it comes to having work done on the dryer vents, taking the time to find a certified technician is well worth the effort. It can go a long way to prevent future problems.

Many homeowners do not understand why it is important to have their dryer vents cleaned in the first place. One of the most important reasons is that a dirty dryer vent can be a serious fire hazard. When the dryer is in use, the material clogging up the vents becomes extremely hot. If the material in question happens to be flammable, this could be the beginning of a very dangerous blaze.

Picture of: flame

Lint can become flammable if not cleaned from the vents.

In addition to creating a fire hazard, dirty dryer vents are the cause of a significant waste in energy. When the vents are dirty or clogged, the dryer has to work even harder to complete its job. This means that it has to run longer and use even more energy to complete a cycle that should only take a fraction of the time. This is not only an inconvenience for the person using the dryer, but it will quickly take its toll on the monthly energy bill, adding up to a big waste of resources.

When someone goes on a site such as Craig’s List to find a dryer technician, they really have no idea with whom they are dealing. Anyone can post on this type of site and it can be difficult to verify any claims that they make about training or past experience. When all is said and done, these people could be very inexperienced and just looking to make a quick buck. In the best case, the person who hires them will have to find a professional to get the job done properly. In the worst cases, the untrained person will actually create even more damage to the dryer.

Even if an uncertified technician has some idea as to what they are doing, they do not have the same accountability as a certified technician. A person who is certified in dryer vent cleaning and maintenance most likely makes a career out of this type of work and is not just hoping to make a few extra dollars. They will take greater pride in their work and will be more concerned with developing a good reputation. Someone who has taken the time to receive the proper training is much more likely to get the job done right the first time.

Some people may wonder why they need to hire someone else to clean their dryer vents at all when they can do it themselves. Although it seems like an easy job, proper care of dryer vents requires specific training and tools. If an untrained homeowner tries to save money by doing it on their own, they may end up damaging the machine further or, even worse, hurting themselves.

A local, uncertified handyman may be the right choice for any number of household tasks but dryer vent maintenance should always be left to a certified professional. These people will take pride in their work and hold themselves accountable for its quality. They will also have the know-how and proper tools to get the job done as it should be without causing any further harm.

By Nick Wagner | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Hire a Professional to Clean Your Dryer Vents