Cleaning your dryer filter every time you use your dryer may sound overwhelming, but it’s a must.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, approximately 2,900 dryer fires break out each year. Lint accumulation in the dryer vent results in roughly 27 percent of these fires.
Continue reading to learn more about this fire hazard.
Dryer Filter Basics
Cleaning your lint filter is simple and should take no more than two minutes; however, it’s only a small part of your dryer’s maintenance. You need to periodically give it a deep cleaning, which includes clearing the slot where the filter sits. Additionally, you must inspect your dryer’s vent to keep it functional so that it lasts longer (you will also use less energy to dry your clothes).
Here are four ways to prevent dryer fires.
1. Clean Your Lint Filter
Not once a year, month, or week. Clean the lint build-up from your dryer’s lint screen after every load. Not only does cleaning help prevent fires, but it can also help your laundry dry faster.
2. Carefully Handle Chemical Stains
Clothes stained with cooking oil, gas, cleaning agents, and other flammable chemicals and substances need gentle care. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises washing this type of stained clothing twice to reduce volatile chemicals. Moreover, they recommend hanging stained clothes to dry rather than using your dryer.
If you need to use your dryer, we recommend using the lowest heat setting and a drying cycle that finishes with a cool-down period. What if a fire breaks out? Keep your dryer’s door closed to cut off oxygen supply; fires need oxygen to continue burning.
3. Swap out Accordion-Style Ducts
Most dryers come equipped with a 4-inch vent in the back, which installers or homeowners attach to the exterior vent with a duct. If your appliance connects to the vent using an accordion-style or plastic duct, we recommend replacing it. These ducts are a hazard because they can sag, allowing lint to accumulate at low points and trapping it in their ridges.
If you want to replace your duct, go with a rigid metal one; their smooth walls provide airflow, reducing lint build-up. Use metal clamps or foil tape and duct connectors to join sections of the duct. These are superior to sheet-metal screws, which can catch lint and lead to build-up inside the duct.
4. Inspect Your Dryer Duct Annually
Is your dryer taking longer to dry clothes? If so, this indicates that there might be a blockage in your vent system. The next time you dry a load, go outside and inspect your vent. If you don’t feel exhaust air, lint may be blocking it. Unplug your dryer from the power source, detach the duct from the dryer, and vacuum both your dryer and vent.
Need Help? Contact RestoreMasters
House fires are a devastating experience, and one of the easiest ways to prevent them is by providing your dryer filter with routine maintenance. If a fire does break out, you can count on RestoreMasters to rid your home of the smoke’s smell and damage. We use negative air machines with deodorizing crystals and wipe down your belongings.
We service Salt Lake and Utah counties. Contact us today.