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Dryer 101: Ventilation and Safety

Clogged dryer vents are the number 1 cause of home fires in Canada, with thousands of dryer vent fires reported every year. The fires are usually ignited by a spark setting lint trapped in the exhaust hose on fire. It’s important to pay attention to signs there may be an obstruction, and to correct it right away.

Here’s what you need to know about dryer ventilation:

When the Dryer Stops Drying

One common sign of exhaust vent blockage is that the dryer stops drying the clothes in one cycle. When the drying process is working properly, heat and moisture are being exhausted through the vent and out of the home. But sometimes the hose may be bent in such a way that heat and moisture cannot escape. Heat can build up during the drying cycle, eventually igniting a fire by sparking the lint, or perhaps even from a nearby gas leak.

These days dryers are often placed in the center of newly constructed homes rather than against an exterior wall, thus requiring a longer hose. The longer the hose, the more likely lint will remain in it and the more susceptible a house is to fire.

Other signs of exhaust vent blockage are:

  • Telltale musty odor in clothing after drying cycle.
  • Clothing is extremely hot to the touch after drying cycle.
  • Drying time is longer than 35-40 minutes.
  • Excessive heat is generated by the dryer.
  • Debris noticeable around the outside dryer vent opening.
  • Excessive lint accumulation in lint trap.
  • Visible lint and debris around lint filter.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

If you suspect that your dryer vent is blocked, it’s highly recommended you call for professional help to unblock and clean it. A technician will know how to clean inside the dryer and remove lint you might not be able to find.

Cleaning your dryer vent not only reduces fire risks, but will also help your dryer perform more efficiently, using less time to dry clothing. Experts recommend that dryer vents be cleaned at least once a year.

For more on dryer ventilation, contact Arpi’s Industries, serving Calgary since 1963.