While you may not think of it often, your dryer vent shouldn’t be ignored. Each year, over 10,000 homes in the U.S. fall victim to fires caused by clothes dryers. Is your dryer vent a fire hazard? To learn more about the risks and keep your home and family safe, check out a few easy tips from Custom Aire.

Clean the Lint Trap

Using your dryer will inevitably create lint from your clothes. Unfortunately, lint is extremely flammable, making it a likely cause for a fire if it is allowed to build up. In order to prevent this from happening, it is extremely important to clean out the lint trap in your dryer after every load of laundry. Make sure to completely brush all lint off the screen. If the screen has become grimy and clogged, dip it in hot water and scrub it with a brush to remove the residue. This will not only help lower the chance of a fire, but also allow your dryer to operate more efficiently, which saves you money on your energy bills.

Clean the Dryer Vent

Just like your lint trap, the exhaust vent of your dryer needs to be cleaned. While you will not have to complete this process as often as cleaning out your lint trap, it is important to have your dryer vent cleaned at least once a year. Lint gets trapped in this vent and can restrict the flow of air, limiting the effectiveness of your dryer and creating a fire hazard. The process of cleaning out your dryer vent is more than the lint trap, and requires you to unscrew the duct from the appliance itself. Because of its importance in preventing fires and the complexity of gaining access to the vent itself, hiring a professional may be the best option.

Check the Type of Duct

The duct that connects the dryer’s rear vent to the exterior vent is also a common place for lint to collect. Certain types of ducts collect lint more often than others, so it’s essential to check which type is connected to your dryer. Accordion-style ducts made of plastic or foil should be replaced immediately. The material is flammable, and the grooves in the design provide places for lint to gather easily. Instead, you should install a rigid metal duct. The material won’t catch fire and its smooth walls do not allow lint to collect.

Be Careful What You Dry

One potential cause of fires that is not related to lint deals with what you put into the dryer. Clothes that have gas, cooking oil, or other chemical stains can create a fire hazard when exposed to the heat of a dryer. If your clothing comes into contact with a flammable substance, wash it multiple times to reduce the potency of the chemicals and hang garments to dry.

Keep Your Home Safe

Without proper maintenance, your dryer vent could turn into a dangerous fire hazard. While there are some methods you can use at home to limit the chance of a fire, it is best to leave it in the hands of professionals who have the tools and expertise to completely rid your dryer of any flammable lint. The duct cleaning services offered by Custom Aire will help ensure that using your dryer remains safe and allow it to run more efficiently, saving you money. To schedule an appointment with a technician, contact us today.