Dryer vent fires are preventable and educating consumers on keeping the dryer vents clear of lint is important. Hundreds of fires are sparked each year because lint and other debris clog the vents. Vent systems are supposed to exhaust directly outside. If the vents exhaust somewhere else inside a home, lint begins to build up and can quickly spread through a venting system causing a full house fire. A need of awareness is needed so the public understand how to clean the vents the right way and maintain the vents clean.
In March, NADCA’s 25th Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the new NADCA standard for measuring residential Dryer Exhaust Duct Performance (DEDP) was introduced. It is a clothes dryer exhaust duct performance standard to see if the dryer exhaust duct system is up to code and if it meets minimum requirements specified by the manufacturer. Whether you are the owner of several multi family builldings or a homeowner you want your dryer appliances to be up to code. According to an article by HGTV on” Installing Dryer Vents to Code” there are several code requirements to ensure the dryer vent is up to code and prevent a fire:
- Codes typically require that the dryer duct be no more than 25 feet long. It should be 2.5 feet shorter than 25 feet for every 45-degree bend and 5 feet shorter for every 90-degree bend. If the duct is more than 25 feet in length, the system requires a booster fan or a high-output dryer.
- Ducts should be smooth metal with a minimum diameter of 4 inches. Flexible ducts should not be used, since they collect more lint and can easily be crushed, impeding airflow and potentially starting lint fires. The ducts should not have screws or connectors, which can collect lint, blocking the flow of combustion gases. Backdrafting can occur if the ducts are blocked, sending harmful carbon monoxide back into the home.
- The male ends of the duct should face the direction of the airflow. The duct exhaust must not mix with or pass through other systems, such as the return-air plenum, because heat, moisture and combustion gases could mix with the conditioned air in the home.
- The dryer exhaust duct should vent to the outside, and the vent should be at least three feet from any other opening. The vent should also have a termination cap and damper to keep vermin out of the home. There should not be a screen over the opening, since it could trap lint and cause a fire.
You want to avoid and prevent dryer fire hazards and if you would like to check if your dryer is up to code hire a professional who may test the performance of your dryer exhaust system. Our Airtek team follows the NADCA Dryer Exhaust Duct Performance standard for single and multi family dwellings. You may contact us for dryer vent cleaning, vent issues and more.