Dryer Vent Cleaning May Save Repair Cost and More

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!

Disaster Waiting to Happen Behind Your Washing Machine

Washing Machine Hoses Can Cause Catastrophic Flood Damage

Behind your washing machine, out of sight and out of mind, are hoses that could be a flood disaster looking for a time to happen. With age, hoses lose their flexibility and these hose are under constant pressure changes due to the cycling of the washing machine. When the machine is filling the pressure is lowered, but when it reaches it’s full state, and shuts the water off, then the water pressure will surge and this surge will cause flexing of the hoses.  If you watch, you can actually see the hoses move as the water cycles. In time, the hoses will weaken. A slight enlargement in the rubber hose, near the termination crimp, is a sure sign of damage near to failure and a flooded house.  The industry standard is to change the hoses every 5 years. It is maintenance that is hard to remember, so a better practice may be to change the hoses every leap year (every 4 years).  That seems, to me, to be a better practice.  I recommend stainless steel braided hoses. Stainless steel braided hoses are less susceptible to burst and, though a little more costly, they are worth the extra cost. You can get stainless steel hoses at any hardware store or buy them online and the cost averages around $15 to $20. That cost is considerably cheaper than the cost to repair flood damage, so this is a washing machine repair that is well worth the time and money.