When it comes to home safety, dryer ventilation is often overlooked because it’s largely out of sight. Giving it the attention it requires all but eliminates problems associated with drying clothes and the risks that this appliance poses.
What Dryers Require
Dryers need to be vented to the outdoors, even if they’re electric. They produce plenty of hot, moist air that’s full of lint from fabrics. Operating it without a vent hose will let the lint collect behind and around it. The hot, moist air will raise cooling bills in the summer and increase the risk of mold growing in the laundry area in the winter.
Gas dryers need venting because their exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde, all products of natural gas combustion. The exhaust that gas dryers produce is also more humid, since water vapor is a byproduct of burning natural gas.
Besides the ventilation hose that the dryers need, each has a lint trap that needs to be cleaned after each load. Besides being highly combustible, a thick covering of lint will slow the air flowing through the dryer and overheat the contents.
Basic Maintenance for Dryers
Clean the lint screen after each load. If you use dryer sheets, scrub it with soap and water periodically. These sheets leave a deposit on the screen that blocks dryer ventilation through it and can cause a dryer fire.
Pull the dryer away from the wall and clean beneath it. Lint tends to build beneath dryers that can cause a fire.
Remove the dryer vent hose from the back of the dryer. If it’s made from foil or plastic, dispose of it and replace it with a flexible metal hose. As you inspect the hose, make certain that it doesn’t turn corners greater than 90 degrees, which could block the exhaust from leaving the dryer.
Dryer ventilation and routine cleaning is crucial for home safety. If you’d like assistance with yours or to learn more, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing HVAC services for Orlando-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).