A house fire is one of the most devastating things that can happen to any homeowner. Many fires that occur could have been prevented, and often the cause of these fires is a simple neglect of some basic home maintenance. One of the leading causes of house fires in the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is problems with dryers, and one of the best ways to prevent a fire in your Grand Island home is to have your dryer vents regularly inspected and cleaned.

When dryer vents aren’t cleaned, lint builds up in the vents, which causes drying time to extend, which in turn leads to the dryer overheating. An overheating dryer is especially dangerous because this lint is very flammable. The professionals at Air Duct Cleaning, Tustin, CA recommend that you have your dryer vents cleaned and inspected annually.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you need to have your dryer vent cleaned, here 4 tell-tale warning signs that you should not ignore:

1. The Drying Time for Your Clothes is Getting Longer and Longer

When a dryer vent is clogged or blocks, the drying cycle can extend by twice or three times its normal length. You’ll start to notice that your clothes aren’t getting fully dry by the end of one of regular cycle if your vents are becoming clogged. Dryers are designed to push hot, moist air out through their vents, but when they’re clogged, the air will stay in and keep your clothes hot and wet.

When it takes twice as long to dry clothes, your dryer runs longer, which puts more strain on them machinery, wastes energy, and can create a significant safety hazard in your Grand Island home.

2. Your Clothing and The Outside of the Dryer Are Very Hot

If your vents aren’t exhausting properly, you’ll notice two problems:

  1. Your clothes are very hot at the end of a cycle, and
  2. The dryer is hot to the touch while it’s running.

Ignoring these problems is unsafe, and it can cause the heating elements and blower in your dryer to wear out faster.

3. You Notice a Burning Smell

Lint is extremely flammable, and it can build up over time in many different parts of your dryer including the exhaust tube, lint trap, and drum casting. Lint can create a burning smell before it fully catches fire, and this is should alert you to the fact that something is seriously wrong. Remember to clean your lint trap after every use of your dryer, and discontinue using it and have it inspected if you smell any amount of burning.

4. It’s Been Longer Than a Year Since Your Last Inspection

To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or fires in your Grand Island home, it’s important to have your dryer vent inspected at least once every year. Annual inspections and dryer vent cleanings will keep your dryer energy efficient, save you time, and keep your home as safe as possible.

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