If you have noticed….
- Your dryer’s drying times increasing, especially with towel & jeans
- Dryer keeps shutting off before the end of the timer
- Visible lint accumulates behind the dryer
- Loads are hotter than usual or still damp at the end of the cycle
- Your home is over a year old and has never had it done
- Flap at end of vent doesn’t open fully or at all of
- Higher utility bills
It’s time to call the professionals right away
- Always follow the dryer manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Have dryer and exhaust ducts inspected and cleaned annually.
- Keep dryer vents as short as possible( Recommended no longer than 10 feet (3 m)
- NEVER allow duct to simply blow into an attic, crawlspace or other enclosed area.
- Clean the filter screen after each load
- Wash filter screen every 6 months
- NEVER operate a dryer while sleeping or away from home
- Keep surrounding area clean
- Install a fire extinguisher in laundry area, but not over the dryer.
- Install smoke alarm in laundry area.
- Install CO alarm in laundry area (Gas dryer only).
- Replace a damaged lint filter.
- Monitor exterior termination for flapper function and airflow
Type Of Dryer Ducts
Lack of maintenance is the major factor contributing to fires, but poor installation and/or the use of improper duct material also play a role. A dryer’s lint filter catches only a fraction of the lint produced in the drying process, although some are better than others. Over time, the lint accumulates throughout the dryer and the duct system, reducing airflow, which causes the dryer to operate at elevated temperatures, thereby increasing the chance of something malfunctioning and/or the lint catching on fire. Dryer fires usually start beneath or inside the appliance. The draft from the dryer then forces the fire into the exhaust duct and, in many cases, causes a house fire.
Flexible Vinyl Duct
Flexible vinyl ducting should NEVER be used for dryer venting. They are a fire hazard!!
The packaging is clearly labeled:
* NOT FOR USE IN DRYER VENTING.
* RECOMMENDED FOR BATHROOM FAN VENTING.
Despite the warnings, many homes and town houses/condos we have seen many, the dryers were connected to vinyl ducting. Often the duct was partially melted by the heat from the dryer or simply ripped and disconnected.
Flexible Aluminum Duct
Flexible Aluminum Duct is constructed of aluminum and has a flexible design, making it a great choice for low- to medium-pressure, useful for venting clothes dryers and HVAC applications.
Semi-Rigid Duct is an accordion type of dryer vent that can be pulled out to the required length useful for venting clothes dryers, as an exhaust for bathroom fans, for venting kitchen range hoods and more it is flexible with a crimped end for easy installation (no joints, no elbows required) but the ribs slow down air flow considerably.
Sheet Metal Duct
This should be the preferred choice of dryer vent material for any home owner concerned with conserving energy and fire prevention. It’s highly recommended and/or required by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, most (if not all) dryer manufacturers and most building codes .
The smooth surface prevents or slows down a possible lint build-up in the dryer vent, helps to achieve optimal airflow and reducing the operating temperatures of the dryer.