Understanding The Basics of Dryer Vents

A properly installed dryer vent is very important for fire hazard prevention, home safety and for the practical functioning of the dryer. It seems like such a small, insignificant part of the home dryer system, however, if it’s not performing properly, it can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your dryer and poor ventilation allows heat to build up which can be a fire hazard in your home.

Dryer vent installation isn’t difficult in most cases. Unfortunately, too many people make mistakes with its installation that cause problems in the long run. One of the main points of dryer vent installation basics to keep in mind is that you should never vent your dryer indoors. This means that your dryer should not be set up to blow the extra hot air into a crawlspace, attic, basement or even an attached garage.

There are several reasons for this. The most obvious is the level of lint dust it will cause will make keeping your home clean a challenge. Secondly, the collection of tiny particles of fabric into any area, especially if it’s not regularly cleaned, will cause a build-up of particles which becomes a fire risk. The third problem with venting your dryer indoors in that these particles and the increased humidity makes overall poor indoor air quality which can cause respiratory problems in the healthiest individuals.

What about Plastic Vent Hoses

Plastic vinyl dryer vent hoses are popular because they’re economical and easy to get. Plus new designs mean these plastic vent hoses and vents look streamlined and modern. This is a poor choice for vents and vent hoses. Like any hoses and vents, there’s going to be a build-up of lint. If that lint ever ignites, the plastic will also ignite and very fast. The speed at which the plastic burns means that a person’s house could very quickly burn up once a vent hose catches fire.

Steel tubes and an aluminum hose are better choices. First of all, there’s less friction inside these types of tubes which reduces the amount of build-up. Secondly, steel and aluminum don’t burn up as easily as plastic so if the lint were to ignite, you have a fire barrier between the burning lint and the rest of your house.

Cleaning Your Dryer Vent

The common theme of this article is the potential damage that collections of lint can cause to your home, your health and your personal safety. In a nutshell, lint accumulation is bad. Not only is it bad for you, it’s bad for your dryer. It reduces its efficiency and can cause it to break down sooner.

The goal is to keep the amount of lint in your dryer hoses and vents as low as possible. It’s important to get dryer vent cleaning done at least once of a year. This can be done by a do it yourself. All you need is some time, patience and a dryer vent brush. Hiring out the job is also an option and is usually a low cost job, especially when combined with a larger job like an annual duct cleaning.

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