Chris' Corner: When was the last time you inspected your dryer vents?

When was the last time you inspected your dryer vents?

Michael posted this, not so gentle, reminder that the white plastic "accordian" style venting used with dryers should be replaced, or at the very least, regularly maintained.

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Out of Sight ~ Out of Mind...
     Over the years, I find it very interesting how negligent home owners can be. "Outta sight, outta mind" seems to be the norm. But, just because something is out of sight, doesn't mean that potential dangers are not lurking just around the corner, or behind your dryer. More often than not, many of the fire hazards that I see in homes are directly related to improper dryer venting practices or materials. The plastic accordion dryer vent material has been banned for use by most all municipalities for use with clothes dryers for years. However, I do continue to see this vent material in homes on quite a regular basis.
     Dryer vents are probably one of the most neglected maintenance issues in the home. Dryer manufactures recommend that dryer vents be cleaned on a regular basis to keep lint from building up on the insides of the discharge vent. As lint builds up, the discharge air begins to get restricted causing the dryer to work harder to accomplish its task. This adds to longer drying times and wasted energy. Restricted vents also have the potential to burn out dryer elements, and the excessive heat can ignite the highly flammable dryer lint. The heat from the dryer is melting the plastic causing more restriction. The result is a fire waiting to happen.
     If it has been more than three years since you have had your dryer vents serviced it just might be time to call someone to clean your vents. If you can't remember the last time you looked behind your dryer, take a minute to do so. You may just catch a potential fire hazard and find the mate to that missing sock you've been looking for...

plastic dryer vent


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Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • September 07 2011 12:30PM