PROTECT YOUR HOME.
When was the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned? Lint and debris can build up in your clothes dryer duct causing your dryer to work overtime, creating potentially hazardous conditions including dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home or even a fire. The following tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) can help you keep your dryer venting efficiently while keeping your family safe.
- Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
- Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
- Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
- Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
- Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
- Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
- Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
- Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.
A clean exhaust duct prevents heat, moisture and, in the case of gas clothes dryers, carbon monoxide from being trapped in your home. When this type of spillage occurs, energy, natural resources and time are all wasted because your appliance works too hard and runs longer than necessary. Moisture can also cause damage to drywall, wallpaper, ceilings and other building materials.
Wear on Your Clothes Dryer
If your dryer takes twice as long to dry clothes as it should, the number of loads that it will dry is cut in half. When the dryer runs at higher than designed temperatures, the life of your clothes dryer decreases. This can lead to the heating element burning out or a fire could ignite as a result of overworked safety controls.
Seven Facts About Clothes Dryer Exhaust Safety
- According to manufacturer’s specifications and local codes, dryer ducts must be a minimum 4” in diameter and at least as large as the dryer outlet.
- Unless otherwise specified by your dryer’s manufacturer or local code, the developed length of your dryer’s exhaust duct should not exceed 25 feet. (When determining developed length, each 90º turn adds 5 feet to the actual length.)
- Dryer vents shall be independent of all other systems and terminate outdoors, not into a chimney, crawl space or attic.
- Your outside dryer exhaust vent’s termination hood should be equipped with a back draft damper to ensure that the exhaust doesn’t come back in your home.
- Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and the exhaust duct.
- Flexible transition ducts should never be used in an attic, a crawl space, or inside a wall.
- The CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician credential is the only nationally-recognized credential of its kind.
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