Most homeowners don't think much about clothes dryer maintenance, but they should. Your clothes dryer has safety risks and one of the most important maintenance tasks is cleaning dryer vents. Unfortunately, many homeowners neglect this critical task because either they don't know to do it, or they believe clearing lint from the lint filter is sufficient.
Cleaning your dryer vent is more than a matter of prolonging the life of your dryer because safety is also another important consideration. This guide discusses how your dryer vent functions as well as why you should clean the vent on a regular basis.
HOW DOES A DRYER VENT FUNCTION?
Clothes dryers operate on a simple principle of heating clothes to remove moisture. The application of heat from either a gas burner or electric heating element will cause water to evaporate more rapidly. In addition, the tumbling action of the dryer more evenly distributes heat within the clothing and further increases evaporation.
One key aspect of the drying process that isn't always considered is the need to remove water vapor from the presence of the clothing. That is why clear, clean vents are critical to the performance of clothes dryers. Otherwise, the immediate moisture levels will remain high and limit the amount of water vapor that can be absorbed.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING DRYER VENTS CLEAN?
There are several advantages gained by keeping dryer vents clean, including the six described below.
Increase Energy Efficiency
One reason why you should clean your dryer vent on a regular basis is to lower the amount of energy used. A dryer vent filled with lint and other debris will force the dryer to use more energy to achieve the same results.
Decrease Drying Time
Time is valuable to most people, and clean dryer vents can help reduce the amount of time spent drying clothes. Dirty vents slow down the exit of moisture from the dryer, which consequently results in longer drying times.
Lower Allergen Content
Another reason to keep dryer vents clean is to reduce your likelihood of suffering allergy problems. Dryer lint can harbor a variety of allergens that can irritate your respiratory tract. For example, mold can thrive in the dark, warm and moist environment inside dryer vents.
Eliminate Pest Infestation
Dirty dryer vents can provide a hospitable living area for pests. Mice and rats are likely to find the warm, lint-filled confines attractive and may even use your dryer vent to rear their young. Other pests, such as insects and small reptiles, may be drawn to the warmth your dryer vent offers. A clean dryer vent is not inviting to pests and will help them out of your home.
Prevent Dryer Breakdowns
As mentioned, dirty dryer vents can prolong the time it takes to dry clothes. Besides wasting your valuable time and increasing your energy bills, dirty dryer vents force your dryer to work harder to achieve the same results.
Over time, forcing the dryer to perform longer and in a hotter environment will cause it to fail. By keeping the vent clean, you can avoid this fate and protect your dryer from a premature end.
Reduce Fire Hazards
Clothes dryers cause thousands of fires on an annual basis, resulting in millions of dollars in damage to homes as well as several deaths. Many of these fires are caused by overheated dryers with clogged or dirty vents. Keeping your dryer vent clean is the best protection against a catastrophic house fire.
If you have questions about cleaning your dryer vent or if you would like a professional to clean your dryer vent, be sure to contact Arrow Appliance Repair for assistance. Our friendly team of professionals can provide solutions to all of your appliance-related needs. Give us a call today.