Company Blog

Why are the clothes taking so long to dry?

Your dryer vent is a similar system to your fireplace chimney or furnace flue.  Its purpose is to vent heat and lint from the clothes dryer. It needs regular maintenance to properly function…just like your chimney and furnace.  If it isn’t maintained, the clothes dryer may become a serious fire hazard…just like your chimney or furnace.

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger……

Many installers don’t know how to install or even realize that a dryer vent should be installed to specific safety standards.   Many of the standards are outlined in the User Guide. For example, the total length of the run for the vent should not exceed 25 feet.  And every 90-degree turn counts for 5 feet. The pipe itself must be at least 4”. A lightweight flexible pipe should only be used as a connector and not for the main vent run.  

There are many dryer vent related fires that cause loss of life and property each year.  However, they are preventable with proper installation, use, and maintenance of clothes dryers and their venting systems.  The majority of these fires were caused by simple failure to clean the dryer vent on a regular basis.

The Problems….

Many homeowners incorrectly think that routinely emptying the lint trap is all it takes for a clean dryer vent.  Not so…..

Your clothes dryer may not have been installed correctly.  An inspection by a qualified professional can give you peace of mind as to whether your appliance has been installed properly.  

Please read the complete User Guide from your dryer manufacturer.  Please give special attention to the parts about maintenance and use. There should be specific maintenance instructions for each model.  Get to know your appliance, and follow instructions and schedule regular maintenance to ensure proper operation.

Check out the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Dryer Safety Tips Brochure.

How do you know if you need maintenance?

Have you noticed a change in your dryer’s performance?   It’s likely a dryer vent problem. Things to notice:

  • A normal load of clothes takes more than one cycle to dry completely.
  • The surface of the dryer feels hotter than usual.
  • Clothes are excessively hot at the end of the drying cycle.
  • The temperature in the house rises while the dryer runs.
  • The area around the dryer covers in condensation or lint while the dryer is in use.
  • The outlet outside at the end of your dryer vent doesn’t have any air/lint moving thru it.

Benefits of regular maintenance…

  • Saves money when you use less energy
    • by running fewer cycles
    • by not having to cool a house overheated by a malfunctioning dryer.
  • Lengthens the life of your dryer when you run fewer cycles.

 

Take advantage of the “Spring Cleaning” bug to get your dryer checked out.  It’s a perfect add-on when getting your chimney cleaned at the end of the burning season.  

 

Don’t Ignore Your Dryer Vents!

Lint in Dryer Vent - Greenville SC - Blue Sky Chimney

Over time, lint can build up in your dryer vents creating a fire hazard.

Clothes dryers were the cause of 92% of household fires reported in the United States. The root cause of those fires was classified as “failure to clean” as listed on John R. Hall, Jr’s report for the National Fire Protection Association. Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps provides the comprehensive dryer vent cleaning that you need to avoid being included in these fire statistics.

Many homeowners think that diligently cleaning the lint filter after using the dryer is all the preventative maintenance they need to avoid a fire risk. While it certainly helps, it is not enough. Depending on how much use your dryer gets, a thorough cleaning by a trained professional (who has the correct professional equipment to clean and clear the entire venting) should be done at a minimum of once a year.

Did you know that your dryer venting can develop leaks and cracks that cause those toxic heating gasses to seep back into your home and impair your health and safety? Today’s homes are constructed more air tight than ever and therefore fumes and gasses aren’t able to travel outside when your vent is not properly functioning. Furthermore, the buildup of lint, debris, fabric, and dirt can be highly combustible. No one likes to think about it, but dryer venting also attracts birds, insects and small animals who will nest inside. Their excrement can accumulate and cause health and fire hazards. In addition, sometimes the animals get trapped inside and die and decompose in your venting, which also presents a fire hazard.

The Homeadvisor website lists these signs that your dryer venting is overdue to be professionally cleaned:

• Clothing comes out of the dryer much hotter than normal
• The drying cycle takes longer, or clothes are damp after a normal cycle
• The laundry room feels much hotter than normal
• The lint filter fills up quickly or appears unusual
• Utility bills rise without an explanation
• Clothes from the dryer take on a musty smell
• Dryer sheets smell odd or break down more than usual during the cycle

Rather than doing the cleaning yourself, Homeadvisor cautions, “(not hiring a professional) can be a time consuming process, and it is not always effective. A better idea may be to call a professional. Rather than just calling a handyman, it is worth looking for a dryer exhaust technician that is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. These professionals are familiar with the biggest fire risks and can help you prevent clogs as well as eliminate any existing ones. On average, a professional dryer vent cleaning will cost anywhere from $90 to $160, depending on the severity of the clog.”

Furthermore, professional cleaning companies have the equipment necessary to not only remove the unwanted contents of your dryer venting, but also contain it until it can be disposed of properly.

Proper cleaning of your dryer vents also improves the performance of your clothes dryer as well and its longevity. An additional benefit of having clear dryer venting is a reduction in operational costs and can be reflected in your utility bills.
Now is the perfect time to call Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment to clean your dryer vents as well as your chimney. Contact us today!