By Steve Scheuring, Baird & Warner Oak Park River Forest
You set your clocks back or forward, you may replace your smoke detector batteries, you might even toggle your circuit breakers in the main panel once a year… but when was the last time you cleaned your dryer vent?
Dryer vent lint is extremely combustible and if it gets clogged in the system, it can cause a fire in the dryer. For those of you with fancy laundry set-ups, more is at stake. I once witnessed a home inspection where the second floor laundry dryer vented up through the walls, the attic and ultimately out the roof. The vent tubing became detached in the attic and for years the dryer lint was exhausting into the attic and wall cavities.The entire place had to be remediated as it was a severe flash fire hazard.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are 15,500 clothes dryer fires annually. (www.safetyathome.com)Today I disassembled the entire vent tubing, vacuumed it out, cleaned out the bottom tubing of the actual dryer and put it all back together. Took me about 35 minutes, but it really depends on your setup.
Do NOT be too proud to have a professional vent cleaning company come out to do this simple task. If you have a gas dryers, the vent exhausts combusted gases that may be harmful to those in your house if not properly reassembled and tested.
Want to read more from Steve? Visit his blog, Your House Behind the Lens.