Cleaning Lint Filter After Each Load, is it Enough?
Dryer vent cleaning, how necessary is it?
Did you know that the lint filter of your dryer should be pulled and cleaned after every load and it is also recommended that it is cleaned with soap and water ever six months? A clogged lint filter will create problems that could run into costly repair, or worse, lead to a fire. When the filter is not kept clean, your dryer will waste energy because it is working harder to exhaust and to remove the lint. If the lint isn’t captured at the filter, it will bypass to your vent lines and the inside of your dryer. This can cause further over-heating within the dryer itself as well as create fuel for a fire inside the dryer and the vent lines.
Overheating in the dryer can lead to failure of the thermal fuse that controls the heating of the dryer. If this thermal fuse blows you will be looking at repair costs to replace it and to clean your dryer and vent lines. There may be symptoms to look for, like clothes taking longer to dry or excess heating of clothes and inside of dryer. If these things are evident, then you should be thinking of your venting system! This inefficiency will cost you on your utility bills, but the dangers involved are far more to consider.
The U.S. Fire Administration (part of FEMA) cites that there are 2900 home clothes dryer fires every year, resulting in an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss, and the leading cause is the failure to keep the vent lines, and the venting system inside of the dryer, clean of lint.
Even the act of cleaning the filter after each load does not insure that the venting system will stay clear of lint. In all actuality, only a quarter of the exhausting lint is trapped at the filter…the rest goes out the vent lines. A lot of this escaping lint will build up on the walls of the venting system and, as time goes on, it will build up to a point that will restrict the flow of exhausting air. That restriction will create the overheating that we discussed and can lead to thermal fuse failure, but in a worse-case scenario it is fuel for a fire. No one wants their home to become a statistic for the U.S. Fire Administration, so have the vent of your dryer cleaned often.
So, we see that having your dryer vent cleaning is not an option!