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Lint Buildup can Cause a Fire in Your Clothes Dryer


Did you know that clothes dryers can be found in 81.5 million homes in the United States? Or that if we compare clothes dryers with all of the other appliances in your home they are one of the most expensive appliances in your home to operate, costing you more money the more they are used. According to, clothes dryers use more energy because they need to spin and produce heat using between 1800 watts and 5000 watts with the typical dryer use around 3000 watts. When it isn’t working correctly, it costs more to operate.

The clothes dryer consumes a lot of energy removing water from the clothing. As water is removed lint becomes detached from the clothes and is carried out through the exhaust venting system. Lint which is made up of fibers from the clothing, soap and fabric softener residue etc… accumulates wherever it can in the clothes dryer… and in the dryer vent system.

Most of us don’t even think twice about the whole process. You know the old saying wash, rinse, repeat! But our inattention to performing proper maintenance regularly can cost us a lot more than dollars and cents. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year, causing an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Most of them could be avoided with the leading cause in 1 in 3 fires (34 percent) in home clothes dryer fires are failure to clean them.

When we talk about a dryer vent system, we have to consider that most of it is hidden from view. The dryer exhaust and the transition hose are the visible parts of the system but there are other parts such as the dryer vent elbow which is partially visible and partially contained in the wall, the dryer vent tube that runs from elbow through the walls of your home exiting on the side of your home or through the roof.

While proper maintenance would include regularly cleaning the lint trap, which most people clean regularly, it isn’t enough According to many sources, your lint trap traps about 60% of the lint, the other 40% finds its way into your dryer vent and dryer vent system. The problem is that the hot air from clothes dryers has to vent to the outside. If air flow is blocked in any way, the appliance’s operating temperature is raised causing overheating.

For the many years that we have been cleaning dryer vents we can tell you that the flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic are the ones that cause the most problems because lint builds up in the ridges in the in the ducting hose. Metal ducts are far safer because they hold their form better than plastic flexible hoses don't sag which reduces lint build up.

A professional dryer vent cleaning will clean all the components of the dryer vent system, ensuring that there isn’t any lint buildup. They have the necessary tools needed to clean the ducting, elbows and vents so that there is direct air flow to the exterior of your home.
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