When protecting our family and home, we normally invest in advanced security systems, the latest windows and door locks, and even keep firearms to protect us from home invasions. Unfortunately, most people forget to safeguard their homes against fire hazards. Research shows that a small fire from your clothes dryer can turn into a major fire in less than 20 seconds. Clogged dryer vents are some of the main causes of fires in the United States. Dryer vent fires break out when the flammable lint accumulates in the vent. The lint buildup blocks the airflow in the vent, causing excessive heat buildup, resulting in a fire. In this post, we will discuss some of the common causes of dryer fires and how dryer vent cleaning can help prevent them.
Common Causes of Dryer Fires
Lint Built-Up and Clogged Ducts
Lint builds up in the dryer, and exhaust is one of the leading causes of dryer fires. When the lint is not cleaned regularly, it builds up, restricting the airflow. One of the indications that there is lint buildup is when the clothes take longer than they should dry. Most clothes dryers come with at least one thermostat, a thermal fuse, and a high limit thermostat.
The operational thermostat’s role is to measure the air temperature that flows in the dryer. Lint accumulation prevents the air from flowing in the dryer; thus, the thermostat will record low temperatures. When the air does not circulate in the dryer, the heat rises in the heat box, activating the high limit thermostat.
Dryer Ventilation and Overloading
When the dryer vents are clogged and do not release the gasses outside, it creates numerous serious safety hazards. To start, faulty installations can force the dryer vent exhaust into the chimney, attic, interior wall, or crawl space, affecting the indoor air. When your clothes, especially the heavier ones such as the towel or jeans, take too much to dry or feels excessively hot, the dryer vent exhaust is likely clogged.
One of the ways to prevent this is to follow the instructions when using the dryer. Do not dry the restricted materials to be dried using the dryer. Check the clothes and product labels for the drying and washing instructions. Ensure that you do not put clothes or products made from rubbers, plastic, and other synthetic foam materials prohibited from drying using a dryer.
Another way to prevent dryer fires is to avoid overloading the dryer with too much bedding materials or clothing. Overloading a dryer prevents air circulation through the drug, forcing it to overheat. It would be best to never place towels contaminated with cooking oil in a dryer. Cooking oils are combustible, and the heat in the dryer can cause the towel to ignite, leading to fire accidents.
Plastic and Flexible Dryer Ducts
NFPA reports that all dryer manufacturers have prohibited the use of plastic or flexible ducts between the clothes dryer and the vent. Unfortunately, some homes still have plastic and flexible ducts, leading to fire accidents. The main problem with the flexible vents is that they tend to twist, allowing lint buildup. Plastic vents can also catch fire easily when the lint buildup. Ensure that you use UL listed and other approved products to ensure your safety.
Tips for preventing clothes dryer fires
- First, ensure that you clean the lint screen before and after drying a load of clothes. When you find that your clothes are still damp at the end of the drying cycle or it takes more time than usual to dry the clothes, there is clogging in the dryer vent or lint screen.
- While cleaning the dryer vent will help reduce the lint buildup, scheduling professional cleaning twice every year is important. The professionals have the right tools to remove all the lint.
- Focus your cleaning on the dryer parts where the lint is likely to build up. While routine cleanups are beneficial, it is important to focus your effort on areas more prone to lint buildup. One of the benefits of a professional dryer vent cleaning service is that they focus on cleaning this area, minimizing the chances of accumulating the lint.
- Regardless of where you have built your laundry room, install a smoke detector on the ceiling above the dryer. Interconnect the smoke detector to the alarm so that once it detects smoke in the laundry room, it can sound the fire alarm.
- Do not mistake leaving the dryer running for running other errands outside your home. Most pets left alone in the home die when a dryer fire occurs.
- Do not leave the dryer running when you go to sleep. Research shows dryer fires lead to dozens of deaths and scores of injured, and most of these individuals report that they left their dryer running before going to bed.
It is crucial to be extra cautious with your dryer vent cleaning with the escalating dryer fire instances. Although regular cleaning is important to prevent the lint buildup, it is crucial to schedule appointments with professional dryer vent cleaners to ensure thorough cleaning. If you don’t do clean your dryer vent as you well know that it could lead to a dryer fire or needing your dryer to be repair. At Appliance Cowboys, we are committed to providing professional dryer vent cleaning services in Houston and the surrounding regions.
For more than ten years, we have provided expert appliance repair services for all the common and luxury brand home appliances. Give us a call today whenever you have dryer vent cleaning issues or any other problem with your appliances, and our knowledgeable technicians will be there to help.