Your Dryer's Dirty Little Secret

Most homeowners know to clean out their dryer's lint trap after every load, but sometimes cleaning the lint trap isn't enough as Fresno homeowner George Balint found out.

Dryer Vent Wizard Jon Perry removed two gallons of lint clogging up the 15-foot vent from the dryer to the outside of the home, which had been making the dryer inefficient and possibly dangerous. Jon Perry called it an accident waiting to happen.

Making the problem worse was that the Balint family used a flexible aluminum attachment instead of a rigid smooth tube for their dryer. Perry pointed out, "The aluminum gets twisted which slows down the air and allows more lint to get trapped in there."

Lint build up can create a major fire hazard. If anything were to spark it, it'd be very quick to burn. Lint ignites quickly and the fire spreads rapidly. That could be your home. The Fresno Fire Department said dryer fires are more common than one might think. Firefighters got called to 32 dryer fires in the last year and a half... which caused 270-thousand dollars in damage. Chief Randy Bruegman said, "People will turn on their dryer, turn on the maximum setting, maximum time and leave the house. And they come back and their house is filled with smoke. If there's enough lint in there and enough combustion, it'll actually extend into your attic."

A little maintenance can go a long way. After Jon Perry finished the job, George Balint said, "Right now, truthfully I do feel a little bit safer to have that cleaned out and I'm looking forward to saving energy, and getting the clothes done quicker"

Perry said homeowners can save as much as 30 to 50 dollars a month by having their vent cleaned and not using aluminum foil. Warning signs to look for if you have a lint build-up problem: if your clothes are taking more than one cycle to dry, no lint appears on the lint trap, or your dryer stops repeatedly during a cycle.

Here's a link to for an estimate on how much a dryer vent cleaning will cost you.

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