Keeping Your Dryer Vent Safe and Squirrel-Free
Washers and dryers are two of the most used appliances in almost any home. However, when they break down or are not properly maintained they can eventually begin to pose a hazard to a home. Clothes dryers, if not properly maintained, can eventually catch fire and burn down a home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, clothes dryers cause more than 15,000 residential home fires each year. Most of the time, the reason for the fire is too much lint buildup in the lint trap or the outside vent is clogged up, allowing heat to build up within the dryer. To make sure your home does not become part of these statistics, there are several things you can do to make sure your dryer is in perfect working order.
The easiest way to keep your dryer safe is to clean the lint trap after each load of clothes is dried. Once a month, it is a good idea to vacuum the lint trap as well as behind and underneath the dryer to make sure any excess lint isn’t waiting to catch fire. While doing this, it’s also smart to vacuum the dryer’s motor to make sure no lint or other materials are keeping it clogged as well. Don’t forget to maintain a coarse mesh over the entrance of the vent to prevent entry by small animals.
Do a Periodic Checkup
Two or three times a year, take a walk outside and inspect the dryer vent. If you see any lint or dust that’s clogging the vent, get it out by hand or take a brush or vacuum cleaner and remove the excess lint. After you’ve done this, turn on the dryer to make sure the air is flowing normally. Also, check the vent tubing for any blockages by disconnecting it from the dryer and shining a light inside it, then use a brush or vacuum cleaner to make it good as new.
While most people think washing machine repair is the only thing they need to worry about in the laundry room, the fact is dryers require much more regular maintenance to ensure their safety. In addition to maintaining vents and tubing, make sure the area around the dryer is free of clutter. Many times clothing or other items are placed too close to the dryer, allowing them to ignite from the heat being emitted by the dryer. By using common sense and taking a few minutes to inspect vents, traps and tubes a potential disaster can be averted.