Nowadays everyone either owns or has access to an electric clothes dryer (those who yearn for the nostalgia of wooden clothespins and a natural breeze to dry their clothes need not continue reading). A dryer provides us with an incredibly faster alternative to line-drying and can still give the same kind of comfort and aroma when dry. One big difference is those puffy, gray, little balls of lint that end up in the deep corners of pocket linings once fresh out of the dryer. Where did that come from? Is there more?
There absolutely is, and it's one of the biggest reasons for cleaning your dryer vent!
How often should you clean your dryer vent? There isn't a one size fits all answer to this. It depends on how new, or old, your dryer is and also how much laundry is done in your home. Cleaning the actual vent of the dryer can range from once, to three or 4 times a year. This is based on the amount of laundry, so if you live alone – once a year should be sufficient. A family of 4+ would have to look into cleaning their vent much more frequently.
How can you be sure it's time to clean out the vent? If it seems like your clothes are still damp after a cycle that usually has everything toasty and warm, this could be an early sign. If it takes 2 or 3 cycles to thoroughly dry a load of laundry, it's highly likely your vent is clogged and needs to be looked at right away.
If you ignore the low maintenance of your dryer's vent, it can end in tragedy. A dryer vent that is clogged with lint holds an incredibly high risk of fire. In 2010 alone, there were 15,000 dryer fires in the U.S. according to the National Fire Protection Agency (Gibbs). To prevent this, it is possible to clean the dryer vent yourself, but it is best to know what you are looking at and how to put everything back together again.
Calling a professional like Gator Clean, will ensure you have it cleaned the right way the first time. Make sure your vents are clear today, so you can keep your clothes toasty; not burnt!