DRYER VENT CLEANING

Facts about home clothes dryer fires

  • 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.

  • Failure to clean the dryer (34 percent) is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.

  • More home clothes dryer fires occur in the fall and winter months, peaking in January.

Only You Can Prevent Clothes Dryer Fires

Proper Installation & Choice of Building Materials

  1. Make sure the dryer duct is made of solid metallic material. Both vinyl and foil are combustible and spiral-wound surfaces tend to catch lint more readily.

  2. The dryer duct should vent to the exterior and in no case should it vent to the attic or crawlspace. Avoid the use of inside heat recovery diverter valves or termination boxes, which do not comply with current standards.

  3. Avoid kinking or crushing the dryer duct to make up for installation in tight quarters -this further restricts airflow. If you really want to save the extra space, the Dryerbox is a new invention that allows the dryer to be safely installed against the wall.

  4. Minimize the length of the exhaust duct (maximum recommended lengths depend on a number of factors, such as number of bends, and vary by model-check with your manufacturer for their specifications). If this is not possible, you can install a dryer duct booster.

  5. If at all possible, use 4-inch diameter vent pipe and exterior exhaust hoods that have openings of sixteen square inches or more, which offer the least resistance to air flow.

  6. Don’t use screws to put your vent pipe together – the screw shafts inside the piping collect lint and cause additional friction.

Keep the Dryer Duct in Good Condition

Disconnect, clean and inspect the dryer duct run on a regular basis, or hire a professional company to clean the dryer duct. This will reduce the fire hazard, increase the dryer’s efficiency and increase its lifespan. In addition, you are less likely to experience water damage.

Outside the Dryer

There are many improper dryer vent practices which restrict airflow and lead to lint buildup, the two main preventable causes of clothes dryer fires.  Some of the most common and important dryer vent mistakes are:

  1. Dryer vents are too long and/or have too many bends, but don’t use a dryer duct booster, resulting in lint buildup. When it comes to dryer vents, shorter and straighter is better.

  2. Use of flammable, flimsy plastic or foil duct extenders. Only metal vents should be used, which is what most manufacturers specify. Metal vents also resist crushing better than plastic and foil, which allows the air and lint to be carried out of the system. Reduced airflow from build-up or crushing can cause overheating and wear out the clothes and appliance faster. In fact, many state and local municipalities have placed requirements on new and remodeling projects to include all metal dryer venting.

  3. Inadequate clearance space between dryer and wall. Many people create problems by putting their dryer right against the wall, crushing the venting material in the process. The cumulative effect of reduced airflow and the resulting lint build-up prevent the dryer from drying at the normal rate. This causes the high temperature limit safety switch to cycle on and off to control the heater. Most high temperature limit safety switches were not designed to continuously cycle on and off, so they fail over a period of time.

  4. Failure to clean the dryer duct.

Keep Your Dryer as Lint-Free as Possible

By keeping your dryer clean, not only will you significantly reduce the fire hazard, you will also save money as your dryer will run more efficiently and last longer. To keep your dryer clean:

  1. Use a lint brush or vacuum attachment to remove accumulated lint from under the lint trap and other accessible places on a periodic basis.

  2. Every 1-3 years, depending upon usage, have the dryer taken apart and thoroughly cleaned out by a qualified service technician. Red Apple Air is to serve you and your home's dryer vent cleanings.

  3. Clean the lint trap after each load.

Your Dryer May be Failing If:

The clothes are taking an inordinately long period of time to dry, come out hotter than usual or if the vent hood flapper doesn’t open. Maintenance is needed in these cases.

Helping You Keep Your Home Safe With Dryer Vent Cleaning

Red Apple Air is Southern California's only Built To Last™ Installs.

We service, repair and install heating and air conditioning systems for residential and commercial properties. Serving Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Harbor City, Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, and surrounding areas since 2004.

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(310) 532-0522

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