Every year, dryer fires cause five deaths, over one-hundred injuries, and thirty-five million dollars in property loss. The leading cause of these fires is preventable by one simple action — cleaning your dryer vent of lint and other dirt particles.
Dryers will heat the lint to the point where it catches on fire. Properly venting your dryer and disposing of this lint is important, but what is the best way to do this?
Read on for six dryer vent cleaning mistakes and how to best avoid them.
1. Keeping the Power On
When you want to clean your dryer vent, the first thing you do is turn off the power to the appliance. The lint and debris in the dryer duct are flammable, and all it takes is one spark to start that fire you are trying to prevent. It also has the side benefit of preventing electrocution.
If your dryer is powered by natural gas, make sure you shut off the supply before you start. For many of the same reasons as with an electrical appliance, halting the supply will prevent them. It also prevents gas leaks, which are bad for a whole host of reasons.
2. Using the Wrong Tools
Dryer ducts can collect a lot of small threads of lint which can be hard to collect with normal vacuum attachments. You can buy special attachments or cleaning kits that will have all the tools you need to properly clean a dryer duct. Regular vent cleaning with the proper vent cleaning tools can prevent damage to the ducts keep the fires away.
3. Cleaning Long Ducts Yourself
Even the right tools won’t do any good if your ducts are too long. You won’t be able to get deep into the ducts to get the debris out. If they are extra long, the best thing to do is call the professionals at capitolductcleaning.com.
They have specialized equipment that’s too expensive for most consumers. A proper dry vent cleaning once a year is as important as the monthly maintenance you do yourself.
4. Not Checking for Duct Damage
When cleaning out your ducts and vents, always check your ducts for damage. Patch any holes or tears to keep the duct working for as long as you can. Never use duct tape for this, only use aluminum tape to fix them.
5. Over-Bending the Duct
Ducts will bend easily as you handle them, but try not to bend them too much. Sharp bends in the duct can be a trap that stops lint from heading outside. Sharp bends can also become cracks in the duct surface!
6. Routing the Duct Anywhere Except Outside
Sometimes, in older homes, the dryer would vent into an attic or crawlspace. This is a bad idea for many reasons, not the least of which is the fire hazard. Always vent the dryer outside and away from other heat sources.
Dryer Vent Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid
The fire hazard presented by a dirty dryer vent is mild if properly taken care of. Regular maintenance is a must from a professional dryer vent cleaning service. Keep your dryer vent clean and safe!
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