Common causes of house fires include stoves, faulty wiring, unattended candles, electrical equipment, etc. Many of us often overlook the dryer as a culprit. Clothes dryers cause thousands of house fires every year, resulting in millions of dollars in damage. Knowing the proper dryer maintenance can prevent a fire in your home.
Remove the Lint
Lint is one of the main causes of dryer fires because it is highly combustible. It builds up in the lint trap, the hose of the dryer, and in the exterior vent.
Lint Trap – This is the first place that should be cleaned. After each load, wipe the lint filter clean of any lint from edge to edge. Every so often, submerge the screen under hot water and clean it with a bristled brush. This will remove any built-up fabric softener. Next, the lint trap itself should be brushed with a long-handled brush. This will loosen up any chunks of lint that are stuck in the trap. Place the filter back in the dryer and run it for a cycle on air only. This will pull any buildup out of the trap and into the filter, or out of the vent.
Dryer Hose – Unplug the dryer and find the hose/pipe that is connected on the back. Loosen the clamp and disconnect it. Using a long-handled brush, try to clear out as much buildup as you can from the dryer vent and hose. Afterwards, take a shop vacuum and use it to remove the loosened particles. Before reconnecting the hose/pipe to the dryer, wipe down the opening in the dryer and hose with a damp cloth. It is recommended that you do this cleaning at least once per year.
Exterior Vent – Lastly, you must clean the vent that leads exhaust to the outside of your home. Use a tool to keep the vent open for easy cleaning. Take your shop vacuum and suck up as much lint as you possibly can. The exterior vent should be cleaned a few times per year, especially if you use your dryer more than twice per week or live in a high humidity area.
Dryer Safety Tips
Clothing that has been in contact with gasoline or any other flammable chemicals, should be hung out to dry. Even if the material is washed thoroughly, the chemicals can still ignite.
Longer cycles with high heat are not always needed. Try to use a lower heat setting with a shorter drying cycle.
When selecting your drying cycle, always use one with a cool-down period to limit any possible ignition.
Proper dryer maintenance and utilization can prevent your dryer from starting a fire in your home. Take it upon yourself to maintain your dryer, but once in a while you will need to have your dryer and vents cleaned professionally. This will ensure that all of the lint is fully removed. Trust EnviroGreen Boston to do that job for you! To lower your risk of a dryer fire, give us a call at (844) 775-7700.