Do you know that of all appliances in your home, your dryer might be the most dangerous? That is a reality that many people seem not to know. The danger your dryer can bring is called fire. The fact is dryer fires are a threat that makes thousands of victims. It has been recorded that almost 14000 homes are destroyed by dryer-generated fires every year. These are numbers that little know about, so they do not feel like protecting themselves from it. One might think that it is not that much, but it is quite frightening when you compare it to other causes of home fires. In the list of most common causes of home fires, dryers appear in third place. When you are conscious of the possible dangerousness of your dryer, you can better act to prevent dryer fires.
What Causes Dryer Fires.
The main cause of dryer fires is lint. Lint is released in the vents of your home during the drying process of your appliance. Depending on the type of tubes your vent system is made up of, lint can get more or less trapped in the duct. This often happens with accordion-shaped ducts. When lint gets trapped and accumulates in the vents, it prevents hot hair from escaping the vents, thus causing the dryer to overheat. The end result is a burning dryer. This can as well happen when lint gets stuck in your dryer rather than your ducts.
Other causes of dryer-generated home fires include human negligence, poor duct material, chemically stained clothes, and overloading. The good news we bring you today is that there is a way around all dryer-related troubles. There are various ways to prevent dryer fires, and we will share some of them with you.
Clean Your Lint Filter:
A lint filter is a component of your dryer that captures lint when it exits your appliance. Lint filters are located in different areas of the dryer, depending on the manufacturer. However, in most dryers, you will find them in the front of the dryer. To prevent dryer fires, you should clean lint filters before and after every drying cycle.
Change Your Duct System:
There are many different types of ducts you can connect to your dryer. They differ in shape and material. Among the dangerous types of duct are the accordion-shaped duct and the plastic duct. The disadvantage of the accordion-shaped duct is that it traps a lot of lint in its fold, leading to rapid lint accumulation. As you remember, lint is the main cause of home fires. So, leaving an accordion-shaped duct connected to your dryer is calling for trouble. Plastic ducts carry a similar danger. Heat makes plastic duct sag which then traps lint.
Therefore, instead of using hazardous ducts such as those, get a safer and more efficient rigid metal duct installed in your home. Their smooth surface allows proper airflow and prevents lint from getting stuck. Moreover, they are good at containing fire due to their material. Just make sure that you use metal clamps or duct connectors instead of sheet metal screws during the installation of these ducts.
Perform Annual Dryer Duct Cleaning:
Whether you do it yourself or call a professional to handle it, dryer duct cleaning is a necessary maintenance procedure you should do every year. A proper duct cleaning is done on the entire duct system. It helps to remove all dearth and obstruction in your vents. If not performed, you take the risk of overworking your dryer, which might lead to a fire.
Dryer vent cleaning is often best done by an expert. Our experts at 5 Star Air, for example, have tools specially designed for dryer vent cleaning. With their tools, they are able to perform the job ten times faster than you will do. Nevertheless, if you feel confident enough, you can try cleaning your dryer vent yourself. Here is how you can achieve that:
- Unplug your dryer from the power source
- Turn off the gas valves situated next to the dryer. (If you own a gas dryer)
- Disconnect your duct from the little dryer duct.
- Vacuum your exterior duct and dryer duct thoroughly. In case the duct is too long, you can separate and vacuum
- After you finish vacuuming, check that the ducts are clean and there is nothing obstructing the ducts.
- Connect the exterior duct to the little duct situated at the back of your dryer.
- Start your dryer to check that everything is working properly.
The whole process is simple; all you need to perform this maintenance is a vacuum cleaner and some simple tools to disconnect and reconnect the ducts.
Do not use the dryer for clothes with chemical stains:
Clothes with chemical stains are a real changer for dryers. Dryers produce a lot of heat when working, and this heat in contact with clothes having chemical stains can transform your laundry day into a tragedy. When talking about chemical stains, we imply clothes with gas, cleaning agents, flammable chemicals, and cooking oil stains. When washing these types of clothes, make sure to have them go more than one cycle and hang them instead of drying them. If, however, you decide to use your dryer, use the lowest heat level and turn on the drying cycle that ends with a cooldown period. Be very cautious when you deal with chemical stains.
Avoid Overloading The Dryer:
Dryers have a specific weight of the load they can carry during a cycle. This amount is always mentioned in the dryer’s manual or written on the appliance. Respecting this maximum weight is important, for that is what prevents your dryer from overheating. If your appliance’s manual or anything else does not have this information, you will have to estimate the maximum load by yourself. You can do these estimations after a cycle is completed by simply checking the temperature of your clothes and dryer. If your clothes come out hot or your dryer is very hot after a cycle, it means that the load was too much. Reduce it by one quarter the next time you want to use the dryer and check again.
Get Professional To Install And Perform Maintenance On Your Dryer And Dryer Vent System.
It’s true that working on your dryer DIY can sometimes be time-saving and economical. But often, it is only for a while. When you install or perform maintenance on your dryer, there are some tiny details you might omit to do that are very important for the durability of your appliance. That is why, for long-term results, it is better to have trained, and certified professionals do the job.
At 5 Star Air, we have the professionals and the tools to carry out whatever dryer-related service you need. Thanks to our experts’ great professionalism and dedication, we rank among the city’s top air duct and air quality service providers. You can trust us that you will be completely satisfied by our quick and affordable service.