Avoid Injury & Home Damage – Invest in Annual Dryer Vent Cleanings With Us
For many, laundry is but a mundane nuisance – one of those things that we don’t particularly like, but it’s so simple that we don’t exactly hate it either. Whether you dedicate a whole day to laundering every linen, towel, and sock in your home, or you do it as rarely as possible, ensuring our clothes (and other cloth material) get cleaned is just part of life.
Did you know, though, for as important and necessary as it is to care for your clothes, it is just as important to check on and care for the appliances that dry them?
Crazy, right? But it’s the truth. Dryer fires are responsible for hundreds of injuries, multiple deaths, and millions of dollars worth of property damage every single year. The sad part of this is that many of these events could have been easily avoided by investing in some simple and affordable professional maintenance – namely, annual dryer vent cleanings.
Unfortunately, many don’t give too much thought to the risks of dirty dryer vents, despite them being the leading cause of dryer fires throughout the United States. Dryer vents tend to remain out of sight in the home, which then keeps them out of mind, leaving homeowners quite at risk without even realizing it.
Dryer Vent Hose
Fortunately, however, if you are a homeowner in or around the Montgomery County area, the team at Mid-Valley is here to help. (Yes, we know, it’s a bit confusing because we are a chimney company, but we’ll get into that a bit later).
Do you know the last time (if ever) your dryer vent was cleaned? Are you ready to check this little home maintenance task off your to-do list? Schedule a professional dryer vent cleaning service today. Give us a call at 513-727-0994 to set something up. Or, if you’d prefer, you can schedule right here through our website. Let’s get this taken care of so it really is out of sight and mind.
Why Do I Need To Clean My Dryer Vents?
It’s not a surprise that drying clothes yields lint, right? Every so often (and actually, we recommend after every use) you have to remember to pull out that strangely configured little tray, scrape off the accumulated multi-colored dust, and try not to sneeze while you situate it back inside its slot.
Essentially, this lint trap is a sort of first defense against lint, dirt, and any other debris that may be accumulated during a spin in the dryer. However, while this may trap the majority of the lint that is produced with each drying cycle, it doesn’t get it all – especially if you forget to clean it out regularly.
Why does this matter? How does a dryer even work, anyway? We’re glad you asked. Unlike fireplaces and chimneys which may not be used that frequently, you’re likely to use your dryer far more regularly. And while it is not, of course, necessary for you to fully comprehend the mechanics of function, it is helpful to have a general understanding of the appliance and the way it works.
Without getting too deep into it, your dryer, well… dries… by circulating heated air in a rotating drum. This heated air is what removes the moisture in wet or damp fabrics. As with any other structure dependent on airflow, your dryer needs somewhere to expel the spent (and now moist) air, which is where the dryer vent comes in.
That said, even when the lint trap is properly maintained, there will always be some gunk to sneak past and get pulled into the dryer vent which, eventually (and especially if the vent is not cleaned regularly) can lead to buildup. This buildup not only contributes to longer drying times and wasted energy, but also – you guessed it – dryer fires.
Lint Collected from Dryer Vent
Are Dirty Dryer Vents Dangerous?
Inherently, yes. If it makes sense to regularly sweep or clean out the exhaust system for a fireplace and chimney, why should another vent be any different? Sure, fireplaces and chimneys may have more dirt, soot, and other grime not found in a clothes dryer, but that doesn’t mean the gross stuff they do pick up is any less dangerous when it comes to the accumulation inside a venting hose.
If you’re an avid camper and a pro when it comes to knowing your kindling and its variations, you’re likely already aware that lint is an excellent fire starter because it is highly flammable. Thus, when it comes to the machine that creates the lint, regardless of the level of accumulation, a vent with an obstructed path makes it that much harder for the exhaust to be properly released – which can then cause the dryer to overheat and potentially ignite.
How Can I Avoid Dryer Fires?
The most effective way to avoid a dryer fire is to invest in a professional dryer vent cleaning every single year. Like with chimney inspections, having your vents professionally cleaned out on an annual basis is imperative to reducing your risk of harm or injury.
Other tips include:
- cleaning your lint trap after every load
- replacing your accordion-style ducts with smooth ones
- avoiding drying clothes with flammable stains (like gas, certain cleaning agents, cooking oil, etc.)
- shorten your duct system, if that’s a viable option for you
What Other Hazards Do Dirty Vents Cause?
Now, dryer fires are probably the biggest (and most common) issue to be concerned about, but there are other issues that dirty or clogged vents invite, too.
- Inefficiency: A dryer with clogged vents will not run as efficiently. Since fumes aren’t able to vent as well, you’ll discover that your clothes aren’t getting dry after just one cycle, and you may need to run it a few times before you’re ready to take them out.
- Loss of Money: Not only does running your dryer over and over increase energy bills, but it puts more wear on your clothes too – which eventually means replacing worn out items much sooner than anticipated.
- Risk of Carbon Monoxide Leaks: In addition to fires, you’ll experience an increased risk of carbon monoxide leaks too. If the fumes your system produces cannot safely vent outside of your home, they’ll simply turn right back around and enter your living space.
- Risk of Mold and Mildew Growth: Similarly, considering the fact that the byproduct of drying clothes is moist, humid air, if not able to vent properly, the damp air created in every dry cycle will blow back into your laundry room. Remember, moisture – especially if encouraged or allowed to linger – yields mold, mildew, and other odorous, dangerous growth.
- Appliance Wear: The more your dryer runs, the sooner it will break down. This means you could be investing in a new one years before you originally hoped for. Not only is this a hassle, but it’s not cheap either.
Do Dryer Vents Need To Be Professionally Cleaned, or Can I Do It Myself?
Ok, so clean out the exhaust tube at the back of your dryer every so often to ensure it is clog-free and optimal to your appliance’s functionality. Simple and straightforward enough, right?
Not so fast. While it seems like an easy process, cleaning out a dryer vent (much like a chimney/fireplace system), is actually a bit more complicated than one might assume.
First of all, unless you have either a short venting system and/or the tools required to properly and effectively clean a longer one, it’s going to be quite difficult to reach all the places you’d need to to ensure a proper cleaning. Second, even if you have a short vent run, using everyday household tools to clear out and unclog your dryer vent is not wise.
Much like with any other specifically-designed appliance, certain equipment is necessary to maintain both the cleanliness of its internal components, as well as the overall structural integrity. Without these tools, not only could you perform an incomplete and ineffective cleaning, but you could harm your dryer vent in the process by either jamming accumulated lint and causing a bigger clog or potentially piercing or bending the vent itself, depending on the material.
Remember – dryer vents are not only hard to reach because of their location at the back of the appliance, but they’re also dark, unlit tubes that make it rather difficult to clearly see what you’re doing.
Not to mention, the materials that accumulate and build up in your dryer vent – lint, dust, and other particulate matter – can wreak havoc on your respiratory system, especially if you or someone in your household suffers from asthma or any other respiratory condition. It’s just better, safer, and easier to call up a professional and get this nuisance task taken care of properly before it causes any issues.
Ready to book yours? You can schedule right here online or by giving us a call at 513-727-0994.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
How Often Should Dryer Vents Be Cleaned?
Ah, the million dollar question. We know how they work, we know why they need to be cleaned, but when? How often? The short (albeit irritating) answer is that it depends. Factors like frequency of use, general lifestyle, the type and quality of materials you regularly launder, and more, all play a part in the game of proper cleaning maintenance.
However, the shorter, more well-rounded answer is that usually a safe starting point for most folks is at least twice a year. More often than you might’ve thought, huh?
Once you establish a semi-annual cleaning schedule, your technician will be able to give you a more personalized recommendation, catered to your family’s needs and in accordance with your dryer’s ventilation system.
How Do I Know If/When My Dryer Vent Needs To Be Cleaned?
We get it – life is busy. We don’t always remember to pack the kids a lunch or have a chance to make coffee before rushing out the door, so how can we possibly keep up with our appliances’ cleaning and maintenance schedule?
This is one of the main reasons we suggest keeping tabs on all of your home appliance services, cleaning, repairs, and overall maintenance because, otherwise, it is very easy to forget what happened and when.
However, even if you are generally on top of your dryer vent cleanings and you remember the exact cleaning service date, don’t ignore signs your dryer might be giving you that let you know it’s time for another cleaning. Remember that the recommended twice a year is just that: a recommendation, not a steadfast rule.
All that said, while it is sometimes quite challenging to decipher the root of appliance performance issues, if you notice any of the following signs, your dryer likely has a clog somewhere in its venting system:
- The dryer is overheating. If your dryer seems to be emanating excess heat resulting in your clothes coming out hotter than usual, or the appliance is particularly hot to the touch, you might want to consider scheduling a vent cleaning. Remember, buildup in the vent causes the machine to work that much harder to perform at even a regular capacity.
- It’s taking forever to dry. One of the biggest perks of using a dryer? Much faster dry time (and requires much less space) than the once traditional clothesline. But, sometimes, it feels like the dryer is working no faster than if you were to go hang your garments from the balcony or off of your porch. If you’re noticing that it takes upwards of an hour to dry one load, your dryer vent is likely clogged or there is another issue that needs addressing.
- There is an excessive amount of lint on your dried clothes. Despite the lint trap and your faithful emptying of it, you’ve been noticing your clothes coming out of the dryer with visible lint on them. There even seems to be some gathering inside the machine and in the surrounding areas. This is a sign that something is not quite right with the ventilation and you’d benefit from someone coming out to clear out the pipe.
- You notice a burning smell. When your dryer starts to smell like a well-loved hair dryer, or the first time you crank up the heat every winter, it is not properly ventilating and requires some professional assistance.
This list is, of course, not exhaustive or exclusive. Clogs in your dryer vent may manifest in many different ways, which is why it is so important to stay up to date on services like cleaning and other regular maintenance.
Any of these ring a bell? Does something else seem to be amiss with your dryer? Contact the team at Mid-Valley Chimney by calling 513-727-0994 or, if you prefer, you can reach us right here online.
How Long Does It Take a Professional To Clean Dryer Vents?
You might’ve guessed the answer, but honestly, the complete cleaning process depends on several different factors. The full length of the vent, general accessibility, and the overall path the pipe takes in order to reach the outdoors (ie. how many times it twists, turns, or bends) are just a few things that play into the timeline. Keep in mind that a well-maintained, regularly-cleaned dryer vent will also be much quicker to clear of debris since there won’t be as much built up as in a ventilation system that has not been cleaned recently or ever.
All that said, a dryer cleaning service with us may take anywhere from less than an hour to more than a couple, but it’s hard to tell until we get started and see exactly what it is we’re working with.
Want to learn more about what to expect? Give us a call. We’d love to speak with you and find out a little bit more about your dryer and its maintenance history.
What Does the Dryer Vent Cleaning Process Look Like?
For the most part, all dryer vent cleanings are going to look somewhat similar: specialized tools, precise methodology, and excellent attention to detail. When we come out to professionally clean your dryer vent, we’ll be sure to do the following:
- Use a flexible brush attached to a long handle to spin, sweep, and remove any materials from the inner walls of the duct
- Employ the help of a special vacuum to ensure all loose debris is removed
- Hand-scrub the vent as best as possible to get any gunk that is stubborn or otherwise left behind
- Investigate the length of the duct for any crimps or impingements
- Verify the external system closure is in proper working order
While we work, we’ll be checking the overall structural integrity of your vent as well, making sure to properly record our findings to go over with you at the end of your cleaning. Should we find anything to be amiss, we’ll help you outline a repair and maintenance plan.
How Much Does It Cost To Clean a Dryer Vent?
Just like the rest of our services and products, we never like to publish cost estimates that might not apply to everyone seeking the same service. Also, the price range of a professional dryer vent cleaning, similar to the length of time, will ultimately depend on the length of your ventilation duct, the state it is in, and more.
For this reason, we encourage customers in the Cincinnati/Dayton area to reach out to us directly when looking for a service quote. To do so, you can either call 513-727-0994 or, if you’d rather, contact us through our website. Rest assured knowing that the price you pay when working with us here at Mid-Valley Chimney Repair & Sweeps will far outweigh any DIY attempt mishaps or damages that could come as a result of a dirty vent.
Why Does Mid-Valley Chimney Repair & Sweeps Offer Dryer Vent Cleaning?
So, you get it: cleaning your dryer vents is necessary not only for optimal dryer performance (Warm, freshly fluffed bath towels, anyone?), but also to prevent dangers like dryer fires. All of that makes sense just fine. What you don’t quite understand, is why Mid-Valley Chimney Repair & Sweeps, a full-service chimney service, maintenance, and repair company is the place to call.
We don’t blame you – it does seem rather strange. That is, until you think about the similarities between the two appliances:
- Chimneys require proper airflow to function properly… so do dryer vents.
- Chimneys must be well-maintained and regularly serviced to avoid unwanted fire and other dangers… so must dryer vents.
- Chimneys can contribute to poor indoor air quality… so can dryer vents.
Quite strange, isn’t it? The way two things that are seemingly so distinct in their differences actually share many of the same commonalities. We just like to think we’re doing everyone a really big favor since we’re already ventilation pros. Why call two or more companies to come out and service those similarly functioning appliances when you can just call one?
That was another huge reason we started this company in the first place – to help members in our community in as many ways as we can.
Ready To Get Your Dryer Vent Cleaning Scheduled? Trust Us for a Job Well Done
Now that you’re a pseudo-professional (at least knowledge-wise) about all things dryer vents, it’s time to make sure yours are performing at their best, even if you don’t use your dryer all that often. Schedule your dryer vent cleaning today with Mid-Valley and learn why we’re the preferred chimney and vent cleaning and maintenance company throughout Southwest Ohio.
Call us at 513-727-0994 to get something on our books today, or reach out and schedule right here online. We’d love the chance to work with you.