Do your clothes and towels take forever to dry? Do they come out of the dryer smelling musty and moldy instead of clean and fresh?
If so, you should definitely consider getting your dryer vents cleaned. In fact, here at New England Remediation Services, we strongly suggest that homeowners make cleaning the dryer vents part of their spring cleaning schedule.
Wet laundry contains more water than most people realize; for example, that full load you are pulling out of your washing machine might have as much as a gallon and a half of water in it. As the dryer heats up and pulls the moisture from the clothing, towels, sheets and whatever else you are drying, the water and lint will head out into the dryer vents and ductwork, where it can accumulate. The dark and moist vents are a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can lead to health issues as well as stinky-smelling clothing.
Also, if the dryer is not working properly, the amount of humidity around the unit will also increase. Laundry rooms or closets can also start to grow mold and mildew. While this can be an unhealthy environment for anyone to live in, those with allergies and asthma are especially harmed by exposure to mold.
In addition to mold issues, clogged dryer vents are a common cause of house fires. A study that was conducted by FEMA found that 28% of dryer fires were caused by dust, lint and fiber. Annually, around 15,600 structure fires caused by clothes dryers occur around the country, which sadly leads to as many as 15 fatalities, 400 injuries and a staggering amount of property loss. It’s fairly easy to understand why this might happen—a clogged dryer vent has less air flowing through it, which means the dryer has to heat up even more in order to get the clothing dried.
As a general rule of thumb, if your dryer is too hot to touch while it’s working, it’s probably overheating. Also, if you routinely need more than one drying cycle to get everything dry, it’s time to get those vents cleaned out.
One of the greatest things about having the vents thoroughly cleaned is that over time, it will pay for itself. A dryer that has good air flow and clean vents may save a homeowner around $20 on their monthly energy bills—this amount will add up quickly over time. If it’s been some time since the vents have been cleaned, it’s definitely time to take care of that project! Removing excess lint will help improve not only the air quality of the home, but the ability of the dryer to do its job.