Dryer Dangers

Most of us see performing the mundane task of laundry as just that, mundane.  We often don’t put much thought into placing dirty clothes into the washer, from the washer to the dryer and from the dryer back to our closets.  But how many of us think one of those steps can be a hazard to not only our homes but the cherished lives that live in them?   Dryers have become a necessary convenience in every home however, every dryer has potential hazards that need to be addressed to continue that convenience without putting it and everyone in the home in danger.

Dangers can include the following:

White Plastic Dryer Vent HoseWhite Plastic Vent Hose. The ribbed surface can restrict air flow causing overheating and lint build up. It is this lint build up that can become the combustible material to start a fire.

Clogged Dryer Vent HosePlugged Vent Hose. A plugged vent hose causes fire risks along with higher energy bills because of extended drying times. This particular danger may also cause dryer parts to fail and void warranties on new dryers.

Clean Dryer Lint ScreenClogged Lint Traps. Clogged lint traps also directly affect dry time causing higher energy bills if not property cleaned. Additionally, lint in the lint trap can also be a potential fire danger if not properly cleaned after each use.

Length of Venting. Unless otherwise specified by your dryer’s manufacturer or local code, venting should not exceed 25 feet in length. (Keep in mind each 90° turn adds 5 feet to the actual overall length).

Termination of Venting. All venting should terminate (end) outdoors. Never into a chimney, crawl space, garage, attice or to nowhere (same room as the dryer).

Clogged Outdoor Dryer VentOutdoor Vent. Venting can become blocked by lint, debris, bird nests, etc. Cleaning outdoor vents of this debris, wich a vacuum or vent brush, is essential to keeping your dryer from overheating.

Warning signs your dryer is working improperly:

  • Your dryer takes twice as long to dry clothes as it should. Specifically loads containing towels and jeans.
  • The top of your dryer is hot to the touch when it is running.
  • No lint is visible on the screen after use.
  • The dryer repeatedly shuts off during the cycle.

What to do:

Dryer Vent Hose RecommendationsChange white plastic vent hose with, at the very least, aluminum flex hose, but preferably rigid metal venting.

UL ListingBuy packaged duct with only UL listing.

Dryer Lint BrushClean the lint trap with a cleaning brush that can be purchased at any hardware store.

Clean Outdoor Dryer VentMake sure outside vent flaps open when dryer is running.