Clothes Dryer Vent Cleaning Can Help Prevent Dryer Vent Fires -
Dryer Vent Cleaners May Be Required By Insurance Companies To Have Liability Insurance -
Cleaning Cost May Include Cost Of Dryer Vent Clearners Insurance -
DC Metro Area - DMV
Loss control insurance reports
According to Insurance Companies, The Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Fire Departments, Clothes Dryer Vent Fires are the #1 Cause of House Fires in the United States.
Loss control insurance reports, will sometimes include a request for the date of the last clothes dryer vent cleaning by licensed clothes dryer vent cleaners. And, may also include a request for the amount of liability insurance coverage of the dryer vent cleaning company.
Dryer vents should be cleaned at least every two or three years but there are a number of factors that may dictate more frequent cleaning. The greater the length of the vent - duct work, the more frequently the dryer vent should be cleaned.
Dryer Vent fires usually start underneath the dryer where the dryer motor is located and when the dryer motor overheats.
Overheating of the vent is caused by lint that builds up in the dryer vent / duct and blocks the flow of the hot-air to the outside of the house. This blocking of the hot-air-flow, to the outside of the house, also increases the drying time of the clothes dryer. The blockage of the clothes dryer vent by the lint causes more lint to collect under the clothes-dryer and causes heat to build up and fires to start.
The draft from the dryer will pull that fire up into the duct, and, in many cases, a house fire will be the results.
Other contributing conditions may include failure of the thermostat and limit switches in the dryer, lint inside the dryer, a missing or damaged lint screen, a crushed hose behind the dryer, or a bird’s nest or other debris blocking the vent.
Dryer vent cleaning is one of the most important things home owners / clothes dryer owners / dryer users can do to keep their property - home - and family safe from a dryer vent fire.
Dryer Vent - Safety Factors
Clogged dryer vents contribute to over 16,000 fires every year, so making sure your dryer vent is clear is a simple but important way to keep fires from starting. Also, clogged vents can cause your dryer to be less effective resulting in a greater use of electricity and more breakdowns from overheating. If you find your dryer is taking longer and longer to fully dry a load of laundry, then chances are your vent / duct work may have become blocked with lint.
Clothes Dryers, in the Washington DC area, and in the Virginia - Maryland - DC metro area, are mostly located in basements or outside laundry areas, and are often located adjacent to living areas in newer dwellings. This frequently requires a greater distance to vent the dryer to the outdoors. Clogged dryer vents on gas dryers can cause poisonous carbon monoxide to back up into a home / living area.
Dryer Duct / Vent Material, should be made of semi-rigid, non-flamable metal material. Avoid accordion plastic or foil, this is of primary importance particularly in concealed areas. The dryer should vent to the outdoors, not into a crawl space or attic and not into a chimney or other vent.
Be Cautious not to invite Dryer Vent Fires - Never leave home with the clothes dryer running. Clean the lint filter after each drying of each new load of clothes. Have dryer vent / duct inspected and cleaned every 2 / 3 years. Never go to bed with your clothes dryer running.
Many insurance companies are now requiring that dryer vents in condominium complexes, town houses and other multi-family facilities be cleaned, and repaired if necessary, on an annual basis to reduce any risk of fire.
In many cases, an insurance company may also require that white vinyl plastic coated flexible venting, be replaced with metal duct work.
Most building codes require metal ducts, it is recommended that you avoid using the metal foil covered flex type of venting. Flex vent / ducts can become curled or crushed on the floor behind the dryer, block air flow, and cause the dryer to over-heat and could cause a dryer vent fire.
Commercial cleaners, laundromats, hotels, motels, health clubs, health care facilities, and other similar businesses that do high volumes of laundry and drying, often run dryers continuously. This means that they have even more lint build up and that the chances of a fire are even greater than a home dryer vent.
Many Condo and Co-Op Association bylaws, require dryer vent cleaning annually. The lack of dryer vent cleaning could cause a fire that could cause losses to all of the other unit owners in their building.
The safety of everyone in the building or complex, may depend on these dryer-vent cleanings.