Avoiding a Clothes Dryer Fire

    Avoiding a Clothes Dryer Fire

    Jan 16, 2019

    According to the US Fire Administration, there are roughly 2800 fires caused by clothes dryers each year. This results in 35 million dollars of property loss each year.

    As a homeowner, I have experienced various issues over the years with our clothes dryer. It usually starts with the clothes not drying and running through multiple cycles to get them dry. My wife usually says that the dryer needs to be replaced, which is rarely the case. Our most recent issue led me to a do it yourself dryer vent cleaning kit that worked out great. Most people will want to hire a professional.

    Here are some tips:

    Clean Your Lint Trap – Before every new load of clothes, clean your lint trap.

    Check Outside Dryer Vent – When your dryer is running, make sure the outside dryer exhaust vent has air flow. If you do not feel any air flow or it has poor air flow, it probably means that you have a built up lint clog and cleaning of the dryer duct work will be necessary.

    Check and Clean Around Your Dryer – make sure the area around your dryer, and the flexible hose attached to it is free of obstructions. If necessary, remove the flexible hose and clean it out periodically.

    Keep Flammable Materials Away from the Dryer – Do not put flammable materials in or around the dryer.

    Never Leave the Dryer Running When You Are Not Home – Just like an oven, do not leave your house while the dryer is running.

    Newer Dryers Have “Check Air Flow Indicators” –A huge help when trying to diagnose.

    In my case, the duct work needed to be cleaned. I found a kit at Lowes that did the job. I was blown away on how much lint had accumulated in the ducts over the years. It was a relatively simple process, using a cordless drill and adding extensions to a brush as I went up.  A word of caution if you try this method, do not put your drill in reverse. You risk getting the cleaning tool stuck in the duct work (it unscrews the extensions). I was fortunate, but for those who are not, the manufacture sells a removal tool for those who do not follow instructions. In the end, after following the above tips and using the tool I purchased for approximately $30, the air flowed like a jet engine out of the vent exhaust, clothes dried faster, and my electric bill went down considerably.

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    Brent Canevari

    Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty

    Broker Manager

    14972 Tamiami Trail

    North Port, FL 34287