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Living In an Apartment or Condo? Better Get Your Dryer Vent Cleaned

Because less square footage is available for appliances, washers and dryers in apartments and condominiums are often the small, stackable variety. Unfortunately, these are inefficient blowers to begin with and are usually connected to complicated venting systems. Lacking the force to expel heated air through these long vents making right-angle turns, these stacked appliances have no hope of performing efficiently.

Dryer vents in apartments and condos

Clear signs that there are blockages in the system are clothes that take excessively long to dry, moisture in the laundry closet, dryers that feel too hot, and lint screens that are always clean. Beyond the waste of energy required to run the dryer again and again in order to dry your clothes, the lint that is likely to account for the blockage is cause for concern. Highly flammable, lint that has built up in the elbows joining vent ducts is easily set on fire.

The bottom line is that, if you are living in an apartment or a condominium, your dryer vent needs to be checked and cleaned by a professional. This should be done on a regular basis and will include a check of the vent pipe inside the dryer as well. Since it is unlikely that it will be possible to re-route the vent ducts, it will be necessary for these to be properly cleaned.

That requires special brushes and equipment and the knowledge of how best to sweep out the lint that has accumulated in the vent ducts. This explains why the job is often done by professional chimney sweeps, whose history would suggest another environment altogether. The important thing is that someone whose training and skill are certified be scheduled to perform the cleaning.

Trained to clean vent ducts without damaging them, as often happens when homeowners try to tackle the job themselves, professionals leave you with clean vents and peace of mind. Especially where flexible aluminum ducting is present, the ability to clean it without causing small tears in it is essential. If the aluminum is torn, at least that section of the vent duct has to be replaced, which is far more expensive than a routine cleaning.

By Ronald Caillais on January 26th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment

Don’t Forget To Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

One household task that gets routinely forgotten is dryer vent cleaning. This can be a very dangerous situation, because the lint that collects in the dryer vent is extremely flammable. All it would take is a single spark for disaster to strike. It is important to remember, though, that this is not a job that can easily be done without the proper tools. Keep in mind, you’ll need to clean more than the ends of the vent. There will be plenty of lint in the middle portion of the vent pipe.

Besides the obvious fire hazard, a clogged dryer vent will run less efficiently. This causes your clothes to dry more slowly, and your utility bill to go up more rapidly. Also, the dryer itself is likely to have a shorter life because it has to work so much harder. You will find that your overall costs to clean your clothes goes up exponentially by failing to properly maintain your dryer vent system. Of course, money savings aren’t the only consideration regarding dryer duct cleaning.

Statistically, there are around 15,000 dryer vent fires every year. Besides a professional cleaning, be sure to clean out the lint trap after each use. Also, never leave the dryer running when you leave your home. You never know when you might have a problem. The worst part is this is a preventable disaster. With some simple maintenance, you can avoid dryer vent hazards. There aren’t many disasters that are this simple to prevent.

Be aware of the potential dangers you face with your dryer, furnace, chimney, and other home appliances that involve fire. Proper care and awareness will keep you and your family safe from completely preventable disasters. That makes the cost of a cleaning well worth the cost, because your family and your home are priceless.

By Ronald Caillais on August 7th, 2012 | Tagged with: Tags: , | Leave a Comment
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