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5 Reasons to Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean This Winter

Ah, laundry, the dreaded chore that seems to be a permanent item on our to-do list. A home’s washer and dryer get more use than many other appliances, with the average family doing 8-10 loads per week! Cleaning your dryer vent may not be high on the priority list, but it is an essential part of caring for your home. When a dryer vent goes unmaintained, it unnecessarily exposes you and your family to potentially harmful conditions. Next time you’re cleaning out the lint trap, consider setting aside time to service your dryer to ensure it’s running efficiently. 

1. Safety

We all understand the dangers associated with neglected lint traps, but many people may not know that those same risks are associated with unserviced dryer vents. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, clothes dryers are responsible for more than 15,000 structure fires each year with 80% of those being due to clogged dryer vents. Luckily, these fires are extremely preventable. Keeping dryer vents and lint traps clean not only prevents a house fire but also protects your family from carbon monoxide build-up in a clogged vent and harmful mold that has the potential to grow in the warm and damp environment within your vent.

2. Lower Utility Bill

With each load of laundry, lint, dust, and debris are filtered into the vents and taken out of the home. But what happens when air can’t move efficiently through your unit? When your dryer’s vent is clogged or blocked, your clothes will require a longer dry-time using more energy and causing your electric bill to increase. Ensuring that your machine is energy efficiency not only saves your family money, it helps the environment by using up to 30% less energy! 

3. Extend Appliance Life

It’s simple, a clean dryer vent means a longer life for your appliance. An overworked dryer will require a longer dry-time per load which has the potential to cut the life-span of your dryer in half! Clogged vents lead to considerable wear and tear to your machine causing malfunctions, such as the premature failure of your unit’s heating element, and the need for repairs.

4. Prevent Unwanted Guests

A buildup of debris in your dryer vent can prevent the duct hood flap on the exterior of your home from opening and closing properly. A flap that is unable to close could act as an open invitation to birds and small rodents looking to escape harsh winter conditions. What better place for these creatures to hide than a nice, warm dryer vent? In addition to keeping your vents clean, investing in a ventilation cap or dryer vent guard will help prevent these animals from nesting and other debris from collecting in your vent while still allowing lint to escape.

5. Protect Clothing

With hot, moist air kept inside the dryer drum, it requires more time and heat to dry the clothes. This is hard on your dryer by causing it to overheat, exposing your clothes to higher temperatures and reducing the life of both. If your dryer and its contents are noticeably hot to the touch at the end of a cycle, this is a sign that the unit may not exhaust through the vent properly. The combination of prolonged dry cycles and high temperatures is hard on fabrics and can lead to warped garments and shrinkage.

Servicing your dryer vent once a year will ensure the longevity of your appliance, protect your home and save your family money while reducing energy conservation. If you’re unsure of how to access and clean your vent or want professional assistance, contact a cleaning specialist today!

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