How to Avoid the Risk of Lint Fire in Your Dryer Ducts

As if you did not have enough home maintenance to contend with, now there is cleaning the dyer duct. Cleaning the dryer duct, though, is an extremely important measure to take for lowering the risk of a dryer fire and for saving energy.

If you are building a new home, or installing its first dryer, it is very important that you keep the dryer duct as short as possible. The shorter that duct is, and the less bends it has in it, the cleaner your duct will stay. Also, it will be much easier to clean. Another rule is to use metal dryer ducts, rather than the flimsy foil or plastic ducts. Both the foil and plastic dent easily, and this gives lint places to gather and increases the risk of a fire. Many areas now include metal dryer ducts in their building codes. Dryer ducts should also never be vented into attics or crawlspaces. They should always be vented to the outdoors. Dryers should not be installed to close to the wall, because this can dent or even crush the duct, which will make the possibility of dangerous lint buildup increase.

Cleaning the lint trap in your dryer after every use is a must. From time to time you should also take the lint tray out and use a vacuum attachment to suction out the lint that is hidden beneath the lint trap. You will be surprised at how much lint is in there. You should also have your dryer taken apart and thoroughly cleaned by a qualified technician every couple of years, depending on how much you use the dryer.

The duct that runs to the outside of your home should be taken apart, cleaned and inspected on a regular basis – at least twice a year. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a professional company to do it for you. If you are going to clean this duct yourself, there are special brushes that you can buy for the job, or you can use a brush that you have around the house. If you have the flimsy foil duct, or the plastic duct, be sure to treat them carefully during the cleaning process so that you do not dent the duct or poke a hole in it. Ideally, replace these ducts with metal ducts. This cleaning not only reduces the risk of fire, but it also increases the dryer’s efficiency and will make it last longer.

Never allow the dryer to run when you are not home, and especially do not allow it to run while you are asleep.

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