According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Data Center, clothes dryers are responsible for approximately 15,600 structure fires around the country each year. Eighty percent of these fires start with clogged dryer vents, and result in 15 deaths and 400 injuries on average annually.
When To Clean Your Dryer Vents
While the buildup in your dryer presents many dangers to homes and its occupants, there are ways to prevent many of these hazards from occurring.
You may notice certain signs that signal the dryer vent is blocked by debris and needs to be cleaned. They include:
- Clothing does not dry completely after a normal drying cycle
- A musty odor is noticed in the clothing following the drying cycle
- Clothing seems unusually hot to the touch after a complete drying cycle
- The dryer vent hood flap does not properly open as it is designed to do during the operation of the dryer
- More than a year has passed since the last dryer vent cleaning service
- Debris is noticed within the outside dryer vent opening
- Drying time for clothing takes longer than 35 to 40 minutes in duration
- Excessive heat is noticed within the room in which the dryer is being operated
- Large amounts of lint accumulate in the lint trap for the dryer during operation
- A visible sign of lint and debris is noticed around the lint filter for the dryer
- Excessive odor is noticed from dryer sheets that are used during the drying cycle