Sure, you and your family probably clean out your dryer’s lint screen before a load of laundry. But what about the dryer vent?
The vent is harder to get to than the lint screen; at minimum, you will have to pull the dryer away from the wall to access it. And then there’s the “I have to reach my hand inside this dark tube? I don’t think so!” fear factor. Who knows what else is in there? So you sleep well at night believing you’re doing just about as much as you can do, because you’re so diligent about cleaning that lint screen.
Even so… tiny clothing fibers do get through to your dryer vent and, unless removed, can grow into small tufts or balls of lint. Even a teeny spark from an overheated dryer could lead to what ConsumerReports.com calls a “serious conflagration inside the dryer vent.”
We’re not kidding: dryers cause about 15,500 fires a year here in the U.S.
Property damage comes to $209 million. More than 400 people (430) are injured, and 34 more people die each year from dryer vent fires. Doesn’t matter if you have a gas-fueled dryer or an electric dryer, or even if your machine is an energy-efficient model: lint gets into your dryer vent and poses a true and serious risk to your home or business.
The solution? Make sure to clean your dryer vent of lint regularly.
As in, at least once a year. More often if you use your dryer frequently (more than once or twice a week). Be honest: how often have you cleaned out your dryer vent? Ask your neighbors! Chances are the answers will be “never,” or “I can’t remember the last time.”