Yesterday my husband and I tackled a job that many people do not even think about. However it is one that is imperative that you do. This could save your home and/or a life.
Yes, you guessed it we cleaned the dryer vent. This is one of the most overlooked chores there is. Probably because it is such a pain to do. That being said it is also one of the easiest jobs to do. If you really can't do this your self then find someone that can do it for you. It is that important.
Think about, each time you dry a load of clothes you clean the lint trap. That lint trap does not get everything. As a matter of fact, it catches very little. You now have all that fuzz going down into the dryer exhaust pipe. It is damp and therefore sticks to the sides of the pipe. Every time you dry another load more and more lint is going into that pipe and building up. It begins to take longer for you clothes to dry, you don't even notice because it is just a little longer. Eventually that pipe will completely clog and one day will spark a fire.
According to FEMA there are 2,900 fires from clothes dryers every year. Those fires result in 5 deaths, 100 injuries and million in property loss. You don't wan to be one of those statistics. And this is the time of year when most of these fires occur, now is the time to do it.
So here is what we did:
We turned the dryer on, We taped a big round brush to the end of a pole and ran this all around the exhaust pipe and pulled it out. We did this about 5 times. We have a rather long pipe so we had to keep adding to our pole. We used a fishing pole (not one for catching fish but one for fishing wires in hard to reach places). We wanted to get right to the bend in the pipe so we attached a broom handle to the end of that. After we felt we had this area cleaned, we moved into the house and the area behind the dryer. We moved the dryer from the wall and took off the pipe that is attached to the dryer. We cleaned this in much the same way that we did the outside pipe. Take care not to puncture this vent pipe. If you do then you can patch it with duct tape. (how do I know this, well we did it). We also took the attachments off the vacuum and vacuumed as far down the pipe as possible. We also vacuumed all around the dryer making sure to pick up any fuzz that came out as we were working. Once this was done we reattached the exhaust with duct tape and turned the dryer back on. We then went back outside and pulled the fuzz that came out of the pipe and ran our brush back through the pipe one more time.
This really is very simple it just takes a little time.
We probably do this every 6 months or so. Please consider doing this if you have not.
Oh yea, remember to clean that lint trap after every load!!!
To learn more about clothes dryer maintanence and safety go to FEMA's web site at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html