I have done many posts about clogged dryer vents and the types of duct pipe used on dryer vents—and it is a subject that bears repeating.
While it is pretty easy to convince people for the need to vent their dryers outdoors, getting them on board with maintaining them is a whole nuther story. Many fires in houses are caused by dryers–by some estimates around 13,000 per year. If you want to know just how combustible dryer lint is–just take a match to it.
It lights VERY easily.
The cap at the exterior should never have a screen in it and the whole unit should be maintained free of lint so that the flap can open properly. Multiple flap type caps clog easier than single flap type caps. When you go to the hardware store to buy one of these vent caps, they almost all come with some sort of exterior screen–just throw that part away.
Even the ones with the BIG openings will clog with lint.
The ones with little openings clog even more quickly.
Besides the obvious fire hazard, of allowing all this lint to build up on the inside of the pipe and cap, is the fact that clogged vents will increase drying time ASTRONOMICALLY.
So far we are talking about electric dryers. Now if we complicate the issue by the dryer being a gas dryer, think about the gas burning away inside the dryer with no way to vent the gas fumes or the lint-laden hot air. Now we could have Carbon Monoxide issues, oxygen depletion issues, as well as the fire hazard.
Whether the dryer is electric or gas, if the dryer is allowed to heat with no way to vent that heat, the heat will build up in the dryer increasing the risk of fire.
It is simple.
Simply keep your dryer vent clean.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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