Should I Be Concerned About Dryer Lint?
Many people who fully understand the importance of fireplace and chimney maintenance, may neglect the other fire hazard in their home because they are not familiar with the warnings and dangers of dryer lint buildup. People often assume this isn’t an issue with today’s dryers and modern technology. However, dryer lint buildup can still create problems if you’re not diligent about its removal, and in this post, we look at what problems it can cause and what you can do about it.
Common Dryer Lint Problems
You can prevent dryer lint problems by keeping the filter and exhaust vents clean. However, if you fail to do that, you may end up with one or several of the following problems.
The most severe issue you might encounter from dryer lint buildup is a dryer fire. Most people assume dryer fires are caused by faulty wiring or damage; however, it’s typically dryer lint buildup in the vent or filter. Lint is highly flammable, and when it clumps together, it doesn’t take much for it to ignite.
Mold & Mildew
Another concern associated with excessive dryer lint is mold and mildew growth. When the dryer filter or vent becomes clogged, it creates a humid environment that makes the perfect breeding ground for mold and the smell can transfer to your clean clothes.
Reduces Dryer Lifespan
Like a clogged HVAC filter, if your dryer filter is caked with lint, it causes the machine to work harder than necessary by reducing airflow, which puts more stress on the system, causing it to wear out more quickly. The average lifespan of a dryer is about 12 years and cleaning the lint trap regularly is crucial to getting the most out of your investment.
Clothes Take Longer to Dry
If your dryer doesn’t get adequate airflow because the lint trap or vent is clogged with lint, it makes it less efficient and drying your clothes. This extra drying time is more inconvenient and uses more power, costing you more money on your monthly energy bills.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Because the lint and dryer gasses use the same venting system, a blockage can cause the gas to back up and leak into your home. Excess carbon monoxide can cause symptoms like nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, and loss of consciousness.
Signs Your Dryer Vent is Clogged
Deterring whether the lint trap is clogged is easy by pulling it out and inspecting it. However, a clogged vent is another story. One of the most obvious signs that your vent is dirty is if the clothes are still damp after a typical drying cycle. Sometimes, overloading the dryer can hamper the machine’s ability, so it’s recommended that you do smaller loads of towels instead of stuffing the dryer to capacity.
Tips to Avoid Dryer Lint Buildup
For best results, it’s advised that you clean the filter after each load of laundry, especially if you’ve washed new towels because they release excessive lint that quickly overwhelms what the filter and vent can trap. While we recommend cleaning your vent trap after each load, the vent should be cleaned at least once a year.
If you have short ductwork without many bends, you can typically clean the vent yourself either by using your hands (wearing gloves, of course), a long-handled brush, or by purchasing a dryer vent cleaning kit from your home improvement retailer.
When to Hire a Pro
While most people can clean their dryer vents and filters themselves, there are situations where hiring a pro is better. If your ductwork is long with many bends, it’s better to let a professional handle the cleaning because standard tools won’t do a thorough enough job. Moreover, DIY tools can push clumps of lint deeper into the duct, where it becomes more impacted and increases the chance of a fire. Professionals have a variety of tools for cleaning long, winding dryer vents, including spinning brushes, vacuums, and air whips.
Additionally, some dryer vents aren’t easy to access from the outside, which makes DIY cleaning more time-consuming and dangerous, especially if the dryer vents through the roof.
Finally, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can cause severe damage to your duct if you attempt a DIY cleaning, whereas hiring a professional yields safer, better results.
About Above & Beyond Chimney Service
Here at Above & Beyond Chimney Service, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Southern Massachusetts with top-rated chimney, fireplace, dryer vent, and air vent care. We have over 25 years of industry experience and our company was founded on strong values, ethical business practices, and uncompromising integrity.
Our technicians are highly trained and are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and are fully insured for your safety and peace of mind.
Whether you need professional dryer vent cleaning, chimney sweeping, chimney repair, or gutter services, you can always count on us. Contact us today at 781-383-0415 to book an appointment or fill out our convenient online form.