Why Your Safety Depends on Dryer Ventilation

Why Your Safety Depends on Dryer VentilationProper dryer ventilation is much more than a laundry issue. It’s also a valid safety concern that could affect the whole house. In a five-year period ending in 2014, nearly 16,000 dryer fires were recorded, resulting in 13 deaths and over $235 million in property damage.

Danger In The Laundry Room

How can a commonplace clothes dryer pose a hazard? Dryer operation combines two volatile ingredients: highly flammable lint fibers shed by clothing and high temperatures generated by the dryer. A properly functioning system provides adequate ventilation to keep dryer temperatures below the ignition point of lint as well as exhaust excess lint to prevent dangerous accumulation. When dryer ventilation drops into the danger zone, however, conditions are ripe for fire.

Here are some factors that can affect dryer ventilation and the safety of your household:

  • Clean the lint trap in the dryer before each use. A clean trap not only collects flammable lint more efficiently, it allows optimum air flow to reduce heat and promote proper ventilation.
  • To verify dryer vent function while the unit is running, check airflow where the vent exhausts outdoors. If you don’t feel a strong flow of hot air, the dryer or vent pipe may be clogged with lint. This poses an imminent safety hazard. Turn off the dryer and call professional service to diagnose the problem and clean the vent pipe.
  • Don’t run the dryer while you’re away from home or asleep.
  • The dryer vent pipe should be inspected and professionally cleaned to remove lint at least every two years.

The dryer ventilation pipe installed in the home should meet Underwriters Laboratories UL 2158 standards including:

  • Total length not exceeding 25 feet.
  • Metal pipe with smooth interior surfaces.
  • Ribbed plastic flex pipe no longer meets safety standards and should be replaced.
  • Dryer vent pipe should extend directly to an exterior wall and exhaust into outdoor air. Vent must not exhaust into attic or crawl space.

In Terre Haute, Paitson Bros. has been your source for home safety information since 1922. Ask us about proper dryer ventilation to prevent household fire hazards.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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