Prevent Dryer Fires

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Many of us use our dryers regularly without thinking of the possible risks associated with a
plugged or clogged up dryer duct.

Homeowners are often puzzled why their clothes dryer takes longer to dry a load of clothes than it used to. The answer is pretty simple, but it has some serious implications.

A buildup of lint in the dryer or its vent pipe could not only reduce the efficiency of the dryer, but it could also be a fire hazard.  Your dryer duct becomes restricted with a lint buildup  the air flow also becomes restricted  causing the dryer to run hotter with the possibility of over heating  the dryer .

 

There are many improper dryer vent practices which restrict airflow and lead to lint buildup, the two main preventable causes of clothes dryer fires.  Some of the most common and important dryer vent mistakes are:

  1. Dryer vents are too long and/or have too many bends, but don’t use a dryer duct booster, resulting in lint buildup. When it comes to dryer vents, shorter and straighter is better.
  2. Use of flammable, flimsy plastic or foil duct extenders. Only metal vents should be used, which is what most manufacturers specify. Metal vents also resist crushing better than plastic and foil, which allows the air and lint to be carried out of the system. Reduced airflow from build-up or crushing can cause overheating and wear out the clothes and appliance faster. In fact, many state and local municipalities have placed requirements on new and remodeling projects to include all metal dryer venting.
  3. Inadequate clearance space between dryer and wall. Many people create problems by putting their dryer right against the wall, crushing the venting material in the process. The cumulative effect of reduced airflow and the resulting lint build-up prevent the dryer from drying at the normal rate. This causes the high temperature limit safety switch to cycle on and off to control the heater. Most high temperature limit safety switches were not designed to continuously cycle on and off, so they fail over a period of time.
  4. Failure to clean the dryer duct.

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