When Your Clothes Dryer Becomes a Fire HazardPosted: April 26, 2013
Have you noticed a difference in the performance in your dryer? Are your clothes taking longer to dry or come out hot but still damp when the timer goes off that they are done? You may have a clogged dryer vent and that can lead to shutting down your dryer, or worse a fire..
A friend of mine noticed that her clothes were taking longer to dry over the past month and when doing laundry the other day, the dryer just shut down. The dryer is only 2 years old and this could have been prevented. She contacted an appliance repair company who came out and told her the motor had burned up. The cause, blocked dryer vent that goes up through the attic to the outside the top of the roof.
This happened because when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct, it causes excessive heat to build up and in this instance the dryer motor shut down. What could have been worse, if the motor had not shut down it could have resulted in a fire that could get out of control very quickly.
Instead of replacing the dryer, and having the motor replaced, the cost of repair still exceeded the price of having a dryer vent maintenance check. Having this done at least once a year will give you peace of mind for the safety of your home and family, maintaining the care of your dryer and less out of pocket expense.
If you have a laundry room that has the dryer vent go up through the attic and out through the roof, or you notice the same problems as the warning signs below check your dryer vent and consider a maintenance check on that vent. The repair comapany informed her to have it cleaned out every six months (depending on how often you use your dryer), to at least once a year.
Here are some warning signs you should look out for.
Clothes taking longer to dry
Dryer is very hot on top
Very little or no lint in the lint trap
Dryer stopping anytime during a drying cycle
Lint left on clothing
Moldy odor from clothes
Higher Light Bill from running the dryer more
Here is a list of things you can do to help cut down on the lint build up.
(This does not assure build up will not occur and a 6 Months to a Yearly maintenance check is still advisable).
Check your lint screen before and after each load of clothes to dry and clean thoroughly
Keep dryer area free of clutter and piles of clothes on top of dryer
Clean behind and underneath the dryer for lint build up
Replace flexible tubes with ridged metal ducts to get less build up, clean up easier and will stand up to a lint fire much better
Wash clothes that have been soiled with gasoline, cooking oil or other flammable liquid at least 2 times. Hang dry. Your dryer could start and auto ignition reaction that could cause a fire.