The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 15,500 fires causing 10 deaths and 310 injuries annually are attributed to clothes dryers. Some of these fires occur when lint is allowed to accumulate in the filter or in the exhaust duct. Under certain conditions, when lint blocks the flow of air, excessive heat buildup can cause a fire.
Most manufacturers that get their clothes dryer approved by Underwriters Laboratories specify the use of metal exhaust duct. Often flexible plastic exhaust duct is used for clothes dryers. This type of duct is more apt to trap lint and should be checked frequently. In all cases, install and maintain the dryer vent duct in accordance with manufacturers specifications.
The dryer lint filter also can be a source of overheating. Clean the filter after each load of laundry. If there are signs that the dryer is operating hotter than normal, this may be a sign that an accumulation of lint exists or that the dryer’s temperature control thermostat needs servicing.
SERVICE TIP – REMOVING LINT ACCUMULATIONS
It is fairly easy to clean the dryer vent system. First move the unit away from the wall and disconnect the vent duct. Inspect the visible cavities and clear lint as required. Next connect a leaf blower (lawn tool) to the vent connection at the wall. Tape around the connection with duct tape and then turn the leaf blower on. If possible, go to the exhaust location and remove any buildup of lint that has been blown through. This procedure should be repeated annually, use a birthday as a reminder.
Advantage Inspection Service provides professional Arizona home inspections. We are located in Phoenix and provide services to Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler and the entire metro area.