Dyer Vent Safety 101

avoidhousefires

Most of us don’t think a lot about our dryers. It’s a machine that serves the purpose of drying our laundry, day after day.  Have you ever thought where all the lint build up actually goes beyond the vent?  We clean out the lint trap and think that’s enough. But it’s not! Your lint is like a ticking time bomb. Many people feel no need to worry about lint because they clean their filter after every drying cycle. The fact is, fine particles are constantly making it through to your vents, and if those vents are clogged you put your home in a dangerous situation. Lint is a highly combustible material that can accumulate both in the dryer and in the dryer vent. You may notice that your dryer is taking longer to dry your clothes, or notice your laundry room has a lot of moisture build-up or even a musty smell. These are signs that your dryer vent is clogged. Lint builds up on the inside of the vent that exits your home, preventing the dryer from exhausting properly. Ultimately, this can cause your dryer to catch on fire. You can prevent dryer fires by having your dryer vent inspected and cleaned every couple of years.  Around 2,900 dryer vent fires in residential buildings are reported each year. Five deaths occur each year, with an estimated 100 injuries resulting from these fires.  $35 million in property loss will result each year, due to this cause. Don’t let this be you!

7 Facts About Dryer Vent Exhaust Safety

  1. According to manufacturer’s specifications and local codes, dryer ducts must be a minimum 4” in diameter and at least as large as the dryer outlet.
  2. Unless otherwise specified by your dryer’s manufacturer or local code, the developed length of your dryer’s exhaust duct should not exceed 25 feet. (When determining developed length, each 90º turn adds 5 feet to the actual length.)
  3. Dryer vents shall be independent of all other systems and terminate outdoors, not into a chimney, crawl space or attic.
  4. Your outside dryer exhaust vent’s termination hood should be equipped with a back draft damper to ensure that the exhaust doesn’t come back in your home.
  5. Metal transition ducts should be used between the dryer and the exhaust duct.
  6. Flexible transition ducts should never be used in an attic, a crawl space, or inside a wall.
  7. The CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician credential is the only nationally-recognized credential of its kind.