Today, at least in our household, washing and drying clothes is an everyday chore. In fact, washers and dryers are some of the most unappreciated appliances in our home. We seem to take them for granted and then when they break down, only then do we realize the importance and value they have in our lives. With that said, most people don’t realize the importance of maintaining these appliances, especially the dryer. It is very important to keep your clothes dryer in proper working condition, not just to ensure it is working properly, but to also maintain the safety of your home and your family. Ensuring that you avoid these specific bad habits can help you avoid a potentially tragic house fire.
Regular Servicing. Experts suggest that the primary cause of clothes dryer fires is failure to clean and maintain them. Check behind the dryer where lint has a tendency to build up. You should clean your dryer annually and perform inspections of the hose and vent for any blockages twice a year.
It is a good idea to consider scheduling a qualified service person to clean the interior of the dryer chassis annually. This will minimize the amount of lint that accumulates as well as give you a professional opinion of the safety status of your unit. A professional can also inspect the venting and exhaust system. To ensure that that this procedure is done correctly, employ only certified dryer exhaust technicians.
Keep the Surrounding Area Free of Flammables. Dryer lint is not the only flammable that should be considered and kept clear of the heat of the dryer unit. Anything flammable should be swept up and disposed of before it piles up and becomes a fire hazard. Cleaning up dust and lint may be a hassle, but vacuuming it up is easier than dealing with the aftermath of a fire.
On the same note, do not store cleaning products, boxes and baskets of clothing around the dryer because they may also cause a fire to start, which could spread quickly. While this is an extreme situation, keeping the area free of clutter is a vital step toward fire prevention.
Clean the Lint Filter Before and After Each Load of Laundry. The most common sources of ignition in dryer fires are household dust and lint. They collect within the dryer cavity, which sits closely to the heating elements. Here, temperatures can reach 550°, which can easily start a fire. Neglecting to clean our your lint filter is something that you should never do.
A good habit to adopt during your laundry routine would be to clean the lint screen before and after every drying cycle. This is an obvious first line of defense of dryer fire prevention. In addition, wiping down the interior of the dryer will remove excess lint buildup that the screen fails to catch. This is a less obvious step that most people neglect to do, but is important all the same.
It is crucial that you never run a dryer without a lint filter either, as this is removing this built-in defense against hazardous lint buildup. This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often it happens.
Use Only Rigid or Flexible Metal Venting Material. Most clothes dryer makers specify the use of flexible or rigid metal venting material for sustaining proper drying time and airflow. Accordion-type ductwork can trap lint, create clogs and increase blockages. Any plastic or coiled wire foil dryer venting should be replaced immediately with rigid non-ribbed metal ducts. Buying from a reputable vendor is key to ensure that your unit is up to the required safety standards.
As always, it is a great idea to do your research on any major appliance before purchase. Looking at the website of the unit to ensure it is coming from a trustworthy source,as well as researching customer reviews can help you make an educated decision.
A clothes dryer that is not working correctly increases the risk of fire. Look for signs that your clothes dryer is not working correctly and any potential increases in the risk of fire. Things to look out for are things like a lack of visible lint on the lint trap and the top of the dryer being hot to the touch while running and clothes take longer than one cycle to dry.
About ABC Cleaning, Inc. of Orlando, FL
Serving Central Florida since 1992, ABC Cleaning, Inc. has been the acknowledged leader in air duct cleaning, chimney cleaning and dryer vent cleaning. We’re NADCA certified, we consistently invest in and have the most modern equipment and utilize the latest technology available with the best-trained service technicians in all of Orlando. If you need help deciding whether to replace or repair faulty ducts, please contact us at ABC. We provide quality HVAC service throughout Orlando and the surrounding communities. Please give us a call today at (407) 381-2120. We are here to help!