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Could it be Time to Clean Your Clogged Dryer Vents?

Posted on March 30, 2015
by Melissa Asplund

The redundant household chore of doing laundry has been assimilated into our everyday routine. It has developed into one of those day-to-day tasks that become second nature – we do it without even thinking: piles of clothes, washing machine, detergent, start button… dryer, fabric softener, start button… fold, put away, complete. If you pause to ponder a little deeper into the process, however, you will find there are a copious amount of factors that need to be taken more seriously and require more than what seems to be “programmed” into our schedules. The greatest danger: clogged dryer vents.

The average person does not even notice dryer vents– they are hidden within the walls and beneath floors. While dryer machines are typically stored in closets, garages, against walls, and in large numbers at businesses, the vent system is often overlooked. If there is one thing you don’t want to let fall between the cracks, it’s the hazard of clogged dryer vents. Unfortunately, the lint traps in a drying machine are not foolproof and are unable to catch everything. Only a professional dryer vent cleaning can capture all of the particles that can clog vents. Typical dryer vents should be cleaned every two to three years. Why it is essential to keep these vents clear? The answer is because it becomes a fire hazard. The arid environment within the narrow passageways in combination with the highly flammable lint debris from your dirty clothes is the culprit for many structural fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), clothes dryer fires are involved in almost 17,000 structural fires a year – 92% of which are caused by dryer lint buildup. Of the leading causes of clothes dryer fires a whopping 32% are due to failure to clean the dryer vents. Further statistics show that in 2010, drying machines accounted for 4.5% of all reported home structure fires and resulted in $236 million in direct property damage. Businesses that use machines for commercial purposes or have multiple machines are at an even higher risk due to their high usage.

In addition to ensuring that dryers are operating safely, we also need them to work efficiently. Cleaning the vents is one way of increasing the efficiency of your machine and saving money on electric or gas bills.

The process of a professional dryer vent cleaning is not complex, but it is imperative that the process is completed correctly and thoroughly. Dryer vent lining is fragile and using professional and proper equipment is crucial. Some methods include the use of mechanical brushes, a “Viper Whip System,” gas and electric high-powered vacuums, and video inspection robotic software. Airtek Indoor Air Solutions is a professional indoor air quality company that can help provide this service and aid you with your clogged dryer vents to prevent the risk of fire hazards in your structure. Airtek is certified by NADCA (the National Air Duct Cleaning Association) and is compliant with their Dryer Exhaust Duct Performance Standard (DEDP). You can visit Airtek’s website for a free quote and more information on the dryer vent cleaning processes.

It is not uncommon to ignore clothes dryers until they stop working; but they require upkeep and maintenance similar to a vehicle or kitchen appliance. A professional cleaning to eliminate those clogged dryer vents is a small price to pay when it comes to the safety of your home, business, or more importantly, the people within those structures: Isn’t it time to clean your dryer vents?

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