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Understanding the Dangers of Lint In Your Clothes Dryer

dryer lintYour clothes dryer performs the miraculous job of fluffing and drying your fabrics in record time. There’s no longer a need to hang the clothes outside, which saves you time. However, your appliance still requires some maintenance on a daily basis. Take a moment to understand the dangers of the clothes dryer when it comes to dryer lint accumulation. Taking a few seconds out of your day to keep it clean can stop a fire from beginning in the first place.

How Lint Gets Trapped

As you load your clothes into the dryer, all of the lint is stuck to the fabrics. The tumbling motion and heat fluff up the fabrics so that the lint releases from the surfaces. As the fabrics move within the dryer, the lint follows the air current and into the trap. Depending on the fabrics involved, you can have a variable amount of lint after each drying session. You might be inclined to skip the trap cleaning after a small load, but don’t fall into this habit. Fire and heat danger increase with more lint in the trap.

The Overheating Possibility

As dryer lint grows in volume in the trap, air cannot move freely through the system. Your dryer might be set to “high” heat, which creates a very warm interior. These temperatures are set by the appliance’s manufacturer, and they’re incredibly safe under normal conditions. With too much lint in the dryer, however, the system heats up and potentially creates a fire hazard. Almost any fabric can ignite if the conditions are hot enough. To avoid overheating, regularly clean the dryer and hire a Milwaukee dryer repair professional for a yearly checkup too.

Dryer Lint’s Flammable State

Lint is a flammable substance because of its shape and texture. These tiny, fabric pieces collect in a dryer trap. Air is constantly moving in the area, which brings oxygen to almost every surface area of the fabric. If excessive heat becomes part of this mixture, a fire can be the result. The oxygen and heat form a perfect, flammable situation. Add in the friction from the dryer’s movement, and sparks can fly. Always run the dryer when you’re at home. Turn it off if you must leave during a drying session. Fire can erupt in a matter of minutes.

Cleaning Out the Traps and Vents

Ideally, clean out the traps before and after you use the dryer. Make it a habit to perform these tasks so that there’s almost no lint in the dryer at any time. Be aware that lint also finds its way into the exhaust vents over time. Every month, try to vacuum out the vents so that this dryer lint doesn’t become an issue either.

Be aware that your Milwaukee dryer repair professional is always a great resource when you have questions about your appliances. Follow their advice so that you’re aware of the best ways to care and protect the household. Clothes dryers can last for a decade or more when you prioritize their maintenance schedules.

See also “Common Signs It’s Time to Repair Your Clothes Dryer“.

Photo by HomeSpot HQ from Flickr using Creative Commons license.

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