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Lint Is A Four-Letter Word: Avoid A Fire With Dryer Vent Cleaning

Posted by Bonnie B LLC on Sat, Aug 17, 2013 @ 05:42 PM

Contact Anytime Service for dryer vent cleaning. Avoid a fire!
Avoid a Fire......Have your local appliance repair company Service your Dryer today!

Your average homeowner does between 7 and 10 loads of laundry per week, depending on the number of people in the household, sometimes more.

Of that number, 2-3 hours per week alone is spent on folding laundry…add to that, removing the clothing from the washing machine, and either hanging it to drip-dry,  or placing it in the dryer, waiting for the individual loads to be done.

If you average it out, most likely a single load of laundry from start to finish, might take between 60-90 minutes, and then the clothing has to be put away.

I affectionately call my laundry room ‘Laundry-Land’. It’s a place one dwells in a constant state of motion. Never-ending…time consuming, but gratifying when you survey the end-result. Besides, you and your family do need clean clothes.

Hamper>Washing machine>Dry rack/Dryer>Fold or place on Hangers>Put away to drawers or closet. And the schedule repeats, and repeats and repeats...

Sounds like a lot or work and alot of time and effort, doesn’t it? Indeed!
But let’s concentrate for a moment on the freshly-laundered clothing that is gently placed into the dryer, while you patiently await its completion.

Lint is definitely not a friend of your clothes dryer.
Why, you wonder? Glad you asked!

For starters, let's talk about lint, what it is, how it acts and where it goes...

Lint is a noun

  1. Short, fine fibers that separate from the surface of cloth or yarn.

It is actually the deterioration of various types of clothing, sheets, towels, etc.
The agitator of your washing machine can also cause some wear and tear on garments, exacerbating the process. When moved to the clothes dryer, very small particles of these garments break off. As the article of clothing or item tumbles around your dryer during the dryer process, a filter catches many of these particles...but not all.  We end up with an accumulation of lint. In theory, the lint filter of your dryer should be cleaned after each load that is dried. In practice, we know that doesn't always happen.

The cleaner you keep the lint trap, the more air that can circulate, and the less electricity you use. So, it's a win-win situation.

Watch this video!

Consumer Reports
shared some dryer vent tips in an article back in 2009, and while it’s not from this year, the information remains consistent.

In the article, CR tells us …
“Improper dryer vents are a much bigger and more common safety problem. Here are a few tips to keep your clothes dryer running safely and efficiently.

    Use metal dryer ducts to help prevent dryer fires. Consumer Reports says that flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic are the most problematic because they can sag and let lint build up at low points. Ridges can also trap lint. Metal ducts, either flexible or solid, are far safer because they don't sag, so lint is less likely to build up. In addition, if a fire does start, a metal duct is more likely to contain it. See our dryer venting safety report for more tips as well as photos and a dryer-venting video.

    No matter which kind of duct you have, you should clean it regularly. In addition, remove the visible lint from the lint screen each time you use your dryer. This not only will reduce the risk of a fire, but your clothes will dry faster and your dryer will use less energy. If dryer film is a worry, there is certainly no harm in occasionally cleaning the lint filter with warm soapy water and a small brush.

    Clean inside, behind, and underneath the dryer, where lint can also build up.

    Take special care drying clothes stained with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, cooking oils, cleaning agents, or finishing oils and stains. Wash the clothing more than once to minimize the amount of these chemicals on the clothing and line dry instead of using a dryer.

    Avoid using liquid fabric softener on all-cotton clothing made of fleece, terry cloth, or velour. In our flammability tests, liquid fabric softener added to rinse water accelerated the burning speed of these fabrics. If you want a softener, use dryer sheets instead.

    Buy dryers that use moisture sensors rather than ordinary thermostats to end the auto-dry cycle. Thermostats can allow the dryer to run longer than necessary.

    Occasionally wipe the sensor with a soft cloth or cotton ball and rubbing alcohol to keep it functioning accurately. Sensors are usually located on the inside of the dryer, just below the door opening, and can be hard to find. They are usually two curved metallic strips, shaped somewhat like the letter "C".

Other experts tell us a fire in your dryer duct may not originate in the duct, but rather be a result of a situation within the appliance itself. While having your dryer duct cleaned is a great starting point, you should also entertain the thought of have your local dryer repair man get inside the actual dryer and be sure all traces of lint are removed from inside the machine itself, particularly from the dryer element and drum.

Remember these important words of caution:

While very possibly capable, homeowners should NOT  attempt services such as these him or her self. It is advisable to always call upon the services of a qualified and licensed appliance repair professional to do service work on appliances. Skilled appliance repair technicians have completed multiple training programs.  Appliances are much more complicated today than they were decades ago. Many appliances require computer analysis and hands-on training.

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Tags: Lint fires, Dryer lint, Dryer maintenance