Dryer Vent Considerations
Important Aspects of Your Dryer Vent
Think of cleaning your dryer vent like Spring Cleaning. Every year, you should be cleaning your dryer vent to avoid potential risks for a house fire. A clogged dryer vent is the leading cause for house fires in America, so it’s extremely important to be diligent and take these few things into consideration:
- How long is your dryer vent?
- What material is your dryer vent?
- Does your dryer vent have duct tape and screws?
- Are animals nesting in your outlet?
Dryer Vent Length
The length of your dryer vent is an extremely important consideration to make when thinking about your dryer’s efficiency. If your dryer vent is too long, you will not have enough air flow and velocity to push the warm out to the outlet to vent outside. This can not only decrease efficiency, but you may end up with a clogged vent.
If the exhaust fan cannot properly push the warm air outside, dirt and dryer lint may end up getting stuck inside your vent. With enough time, this buildup may cause a clog which can be a dangerous situation. One other thing to keep in mind is how many bends and elbows you have in your dryer vent. Each 90 degree turn adds footage to the overall distance/length of your dryer vent.
Dryer Vent Material
The type of material used for your dryer vent is extremely important. Years ago, most contractors and installers were utilizing vinyl and foil type vents because they were cheap and easy to install. These materials do not withstand the heated exhaust air which can lead to damage and leaks.
Some home builders and contractors will also run the dryer vent ducting through the wall where it is not exposed. While this may not be a problem, the material they use is very important. The only type of duct work that can be run through the wall is rigid metal pipe in order to withstand the heat. If your dryer vent piping is thin foil or vinyl, it should be upgraded for safety.
Duct Tape & Screws?
Duct tape is easily accessible and works great, however, not on dryer vents. Due to the heated exhaust air coming through the dryer vent, duct tape is not a great option. The adhesive will loosen with time due to the heat, causing gaps and leaks in the vent. If your dryer vent has gaps and is leaking air, the air flow will be weak, preventing the exhaust fan from pushing the air all the way outside.
Many contractors will use screws to secure the dryer vent instead of hose clamps. The issue with using screws is that they will stick out towards the center of the vent. As debris and lint travels through the dryer vent, it can get stuck on these screws, creating a clog. Once enough time has passed and enough lint gets stuck on these screws, a serious clog will form, increasing your risk of a house fire.
Are Animals Making A Home?
Birds often make their nests in exposed dryer vent outlets for a few reasons. First and foremost, the heated air traveling through the vent creates a warm environment for the birds to nest. Second, it’s a dark and safe place for birds to nest and hide from predators. However, if we allow birds to nest in our dryer vent, it will soon be too clogged for air to pass causing issues.
Your dryer will be running inefficiently, the risk for a house fire increases, and damage to your dryer vent can be caused. It is important to have a proper outlet guard covering your dryer vent to prevent birds and other animals nesting in your dryer vent.
There are many different factors that play a part in proper dryer vent maintenance. The listed considerations above should help to get you on the right track with things you can check on your own. If you need any assistance or think it’s time to have your dryer vent cleaned, please reach out so we can help!