Every year, the lint that builds up in a dryer vent causes thousands of fires, and without the proper precautions it may happen to you. Lint is a highly flammable material and an important yearly routine for homeowners is cleaning the dryer vent to prevent home fires. In the luckiest of cases, the lint burns itself out inside the dryer, which leaves a burning smell but also causes serious damage to your appliance. However, in many less fortunate situations, the fire ends up destroying a family's home. Here are some tips on how to clean a dryer vent and prevent home fires at the same time:
- The first and most important thing is to make sure that your duct is not made of plastic. Plastic is the worst possible choice for a dryer vent as it will not contain the lint fire and will end up producing toxic fumes. Aluminum is the best choice for a dryer vent. Also, it is recommended that you keep your vent hose as short as possible and make certain it is not kinked or crushed.
- Regular cleaning of your lint screen is a great habit that can help you save a lot of time and money and also prevent a future disaster. As long as you clean the lint screen before every load, you simply don't give lint a chance to burn out. Clean it even when you think it is just a small amount!
- A potential hazard for a dryer fire is the lint that accumulates and clogs the vent line, which stretches from the wall behind the dryer to the outside flap. If you are not able, or don't know how to clean the vent line yourself, call a professional duct cleaning company.
- A good tip on preventing dryer fires is to keep the area around your dryer clear of any items. That basically helps in case a lint fire does start and you can't see it on time. The stuff around the dryer or too close to the dryer becomes fuel for the lint fire and destroys your home. So make sure you keep clothing, cleaning supplies, and boxes away from the dryer.
- This is the most practical advice on how to clean a dryer vent: clean the lint inside the dryer regularly. Periodical cleaning of the dryer can help you prevent a home fire. However, it may not be a job that you can handle yourself, unless you have the abilities of a technician or you are a technician able to take the dryer apart and put it back together.
- Sometimes a lint fire can be caused by the poor condition of the gas line. If you have any doubts about the condition of your gas line, have it checked or replaced by a qualified gas technician. Also, be careful not to kink the gas line when you push the dryer back into position.