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Dryer Vent vs. Lint Trap

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Clothes dryers are responsible for nearly 15,000 house fires each year. And according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the leading cause of dryer fires is failure to clean lint from the system.

Since it’s Spring Cleaning Season, now is the perfect time to make sure you also clean out your dryer vent. We all know the importance of cleaning your dryer’s lint trap to prevent dryer fires. But many homeowners neglect to look beyond the machine itself to inspect their home’s dryer vent.

There are distinct differences between the dryer vent and the lint trap.

What is a dryer vent?

When you dry a load of laundry, your wet clothes produce moist warm air. It’s the job of your dryer vent to direct all that air outside of your home.

Why clean your dryer vent?

Even if you clean your lint trap every time, your dryer vent can still become filled with lint, which reduces your dryer’s efficiency and could create a serious fire hazard.

Cleaning out your dryer vent increases efficiency, which can save you money on gas and electric bills.

Fires peak in winter months. Make sure you plan regular vent cleanings and checks to make sure your dryer runs safely.

How can you tell if a dryer vent is clogged?

Blocked vents are one of the main culprits of dryer fires and cause millions of dollars in property damage each year. Here are some warning signs:

  • Your clothes dryer is warm to the touch.
  • Your clothes take a long time to dry.
  • Your laundry room is hot or humid when drying clothes.
  • You find lint in, behind or around your dryer.
  • Your dryer’s lint screen is filling up faster than normal.

How often should you clean your dryer vent?

According to the NFPA, you should clean your dryer vent at least once a year. But depending on how often you use your dryer, how many people live in your house, where your vent is located and whether or not you have pets, it may need to be done as frequently as every few months.

What is a lint trap?

A lint trap will trap lint from clothing fabrics that accumulate during a dryer cycle.

Why clean your link trap?

Your dryer’s built-in lint trap is the first line of defense.

Removing lint that’s captured in the mesh screen of your link trap is critical to preventing fires. A clean trap allows for better airflow, which lowers your risk of a fire.

How can you tell if your lint trap is clogged?

If you use dryer sheets and fabric softeners, there’s an increased chance residue can build up on the mesh lint trap. It’s important to proactively clean this trap (an old toothbrush dipped in warm, soapy water will work just fine.) Just make sure you give the tap time to dry before putting it back in the dryer.

How often should you clean your lint trap?

You should clean the lint trap screen after every load you dry. However, make sure to clean the trap itself on a regular basis to avoid too much link buildup.

When you do clean your lint trap, remove the link trap and vacuum the area with a crevice attachment from your vacuum to keep dust and debris from lingering and compacting in your lint trap.

Business and personal insurance in Washington County, WI can be provided to you by R. S. Semler & Associates Insurance, Inc. After a brief consultation with us, we are able to tailor policies specific to your unique situation because we represent numerous insurance companies and have local licensed agents on staff in Hartford, WI available to help you when you need it most. You can learn more about us and insurance at www.rssemler.com or call us at 800-414-5875.

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