Proper Dryer Vent Cleaning to Prevent Fires
According to the US Fire Administration as many as 2,900 fires occur in the home each year from clothes dryers, resulting in injuries, deaths and millions of dollars in property damage. These fires start as a result of lint buildup in the clothes dryer and exhaust vent, making them the number one cause of home fires in the US.
Proper Dryer Vent Maintenance
These fires can be prevented with proper maintenance which involves removing lint from vents and surrounding areas of the dryer. Cleaning the lint filter after each load of laundry is not enough. It’s the lint that you don’t see that is most important to clean. The dryer vent and exhaust duct should be cleaned often with a good quality dryer vent brush to avoid blockage and lint buildup.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
The Unger® Dryer Vent Brush has twelve inches of strong lint removing nylon bristles that quickly eliminate debris from the clothes dryer lint trap. With a cushion grip handle and plastic coated flexible wire shaft to prevent scratching appliances, it’s simple, efficient and easy to use. The Dryer Vent Brush is also great for cleaning under and behind other appliances as well as cleaning vacuum hoses.
Exhaust Vent Cleaning
The Unger Exhaust Vent Brush effectively removes lint build up from exhaust vents and dryer lint hoses attached to the back of dryers. With six inches of tough lint removing bristles it removes lint that can start a fire, restrict airflow, and cause the dryer to run longer which uses more energy.
Simple Steps to Prevent Fires
In addition to regular dryer vent cleaning, you should also follow other simple steps to prevent a fire from starting in your dryer. The US Fire Administration recommends that you take the following precautions:
- Have a qualified professional install your dryer to ensure the venting system is set up correctly. This professional should explain to you what signs to look for if the system is damaged or blocked and how often to check.
- Every time you use the dryer, clean the lint filter both before and after.
- Ensure that the outside wall damper is covered to protect from the elements and that it works when the dryer is on. You should also check regularly that no small animal or insect nests are blocking the vent.
- If you notice that the dryer is taking longer to dry clothes, have a professional service the inside of the dryer and venting system.
- If the venting system uses coiled-wire foil or plastic, replace it with a rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
- If your dryer is powered by gas, a professional should check the gas line for damage or leaks once a year.
- Ensure that you are using the correct electrical plugs and outlets for your dryer.
- Always read the manufacturers’ instructions and warnings and keep the documentation for reference.
For more cleaning tips, visit our Resources page.