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Every time you throw a load of freshly-washed clothes into the dryer, you follow a few important steps: you toss in a dryer sheet, you set the temperature and time appropriately, and you clean the lint collector to allow for smooth, even airflow. The lint catcher has an important job: preventing highly flammable lint from getting into your dryer’s air duct system, where the lint can quickly and easily catch fire. However, your lint catcher doesn’t always stop everything that flows through it. A few small bits may find their way through as air is forced through the collector screen, and these bits can end up in your dryer’s exhaust vent.

When was the last time you had your exhaust vent cleaned? For the average homeowner, the answer is more than likely either some time ago or never before. Your dryer exhaust vent is one of those out-of-sight, out-of-mind things that you just don’t focus on. However, it’s also one of those things that could have some serious consequences if you don’t take care of it frequently. How often? We advise having your vent cleaned at least once a year and no more than every other year at the absolute maximum. That’s all it takes for enough lint to build up and make your dryer vent a potential hotspot for a devastating fire to start.

Here are three great reasons why you should have your dryer vent professionally cleaned.

Improve Fire Safety

The air that comes from this exhaust vent is usually extremely hot, humid, and could potentially spark an extremely dangerous fire if it were to ignite a single, small piece of lint in the exhaust line. Lint is typically dry, carbon-based, and can quickly combust when exposed to a substantial heat source, sort of like the big one that warms the air that’s pumped into your dryer. All it takes is a small bit of lint getting too close to your heat source to cause the lint to catch fire and potentially carry a small spark into your exhaust vent that may contain even more flammable lint.

How serious is this threat? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, roughly 2,900 fires worth more than $35 million in property loss and damages are reported each year that can be traced back to a clothes dryer. As you may have guessed, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of these fires. Believe it or not, fall and winter are the leading seasons for these fires as well, with the peak of dryer-related fires coming in January of every year.

Keep Your Dryer Working Well

Does it seem like your dryer simply isn’t able to get your clothes dry? If your dryer finishes but your clothes for some reason keep coming out hot and wet, then you more than likely are having a problem with ventilation. As the air in your dryer blasts your clothes with heat, the moisture from your clothes evaporates out as water vapor. This vapor remains in the air in the dryer with nowhere to go unless the air is cycled out and replaced with new air that’s warm and dry. Your dryer automatically does this with an air pump that then filters the damp and warm air out through your dryer’s exhaust vent. However, this also usually carries a load of lint with it. Over time, this lint builds up into a thick lining around your exhaust vent that needs to be cleaned.

So if it seems like your dryer simply isn’t getting your clothes dry, the culprit is probably a blocked or partially obstructed exhaust system. The number one culprit for a faulty exhaust system is lint backing up the line.

Enjoy Better Air Quality

There’s another issue that can come up with an obstructed air line: a reduction in air quality. As your dryer forces air out through your exhaust, the air needs somewhere to go. If it has nowhere to go, it’ll put pressure on your exhaust line. A leaking exhaust line can allow dust and other debris to escape into the air in your home. Too many cycles in this way and your indoor air quality will actually slowly diminish and deplete. You’ll be dusting your home frequently, sneezing more often, and even replacing your HVAC air filter more frequently.

Not only does having your HVAC duct professionally cleaned make your home safer and more dependable, but it significantly improves your quality of life! Schedule an inspection or cleaning service from the pros at Carter Services by calling (310) 872-1898 now!