Did you know that your clothes dryer is a potential fire hazard? In fact, the United States Fire Administration states that approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported every year causing 100 injuries, 5 deaths, and nearly 35 million dollars in property loss annually. Nearly one-third of these fires is caused by not properly cleaning out dryer ventilation. At Leonard & Sons, we work on all kinds of ventilation, not just chimneys, and we want you to know why it is so important to clean out your dryer vents.

Potential Hazards

When you dry your clothes, the hot air produced needs to vent or your dryer will overheat. A ventilation duct is usually run out of the back of the dryer and into an exterior vent. As your clothes dry, they produce lint. Most if this lint is caught in your dryer’s lint trap, however, some of the lint is blown out of the ventilation duct. If lint gets caught in the ventilation duct, it can start to build up and restrict airflow. The reduced airflow will then cause lint to build up faster. Lint accumulation and reduced airflow will feed off of each other until the the vent duct becomes clogged. Once this happens, there is no way for excess heat to ventilate. This excess heat can cause lint and clothes to catch fire or cause potentially fatal carbon monoxide gas to enter your home.

What can I do?

Periodic Inspection

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests getting your dryer ventilation system inspected annually. At Leonard & Sons, we are CSIA-certified dryer exhaust technicians, and we have the knowledge and experience to clean your dryer ventilation without making a big mess. We know how to get your dryer running safely and efficiently again.

Clean your lint trap!

There are also a number of things that you can do to help prevent a dryer fire as well. First of all, it is extremely important to clean out your dryer lint trap after every use. Not only will it help prevent a fire, it will also help to dry your clothes faster. If too much lint starts to build up in your trap, it can block ventilation and cause more lint to be pushed out into your ventilation duct.

Use the Right Type of Duct

Dryers usually have a 4 inch ventilation duct in the back. If you take a look at your duct and notice that it is a foil or accordian style duct, you’ll probably want to replace it. These types of ducts may seem handy, because they can easily bend where you want them too. However, they also tend to sag, allowing lint to build up in the low points of the duct. If you notice one of these types of ducts, have a CSIA-certified technician install a metal one that won’t sag.

If your dryer isn’t drying as quickly as it used to, or you haven’t had your dryer vents inspected in a while, please call Leonard & Sons for a CSIA-certified quality inspection and cleaning. You can call us at 847-658-7659 or check us out online to schedule an appointment today!