Dryer fires are a very scary thing. These cause millions in damage each year and can potentially cause harm to you or your family. The most common cause of a dryer fire is not actually in the dryer at all, but instead in the vent.
The cause of many dryer fires is when highly combustible lint builds up and eventually bursts into flames from lack of air circulation.
If you are worried that you may have a problem with lint, you can often take care of the problem yourself, reducing the likelihood that you have a lint-related fire.
Follow these steps for a cleaner, safer dryer vent:
1. Unplug and Move the Dryer
If you have a gas dryer, you will want to cut off the gas first. Then, unplug the dryer from the electricity and move it as far from the wall as possible without detaching the dryer vent. This will give you the space you need to work.
2. Remove Vent From Dryer
You will likely need a screwdriver to loosen a few screws on the back of your appliance. Keep these in a safe place and remove the vent clamp, allowing you to take the vent hose off the back of the dryer.
3. Clean Out the Lint
You will find most of it near the hole on the back of the dryer and in that section of the tube. If there is a build-up in the middle of the tube, a wire coat hanger can be used to reach it.
4. Replace and Move
Replace the vent hose, reattach the screws and move your dryer back into its original place.
5. Go Outside
Go outside and find the outside vent and cover. Remove the cover, and you should be able to reach the outdoor vent tube. Clean this in the same way, again using a wire hanger if necessary. Replace the tube and hood when finished.
6. Reattach Power
Plug in the dryer and/or turn the gas back on. At this time, you will want to run a load of laundry through to make sure everything is going as it should while you are standing by and watching.
As you can see, cleaning your dryer vent is not that difficult and it can be an important safety precaution. Remember, if you are not comfortable with the process or you find that it is more difficult than it would seem, you can always call an expert for assistance – like the group at ARS Appliance Repair Service. No matter how you choose to achieve it, remember that a clean dryer is a safe dryer!