Category Archives: Dryer Vent Cleaning

Dirty dryer vents are one of the nation’s leaning cause of house fires. In addition, cleaning dryer vents improves dryer efficiency saving you time and money in the long run.

Need a dryer vent cleaning in Maryland or the DC area? We do that too.

Your Source for Fireplace and Chimney Information

The following library of information is broken up in a way that will educate you on your chimney so you know how your chimney should be properly cleaned, maintained, and/or repaired. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, leave us a note in the comments and we will try to find you an answer!

The Basics

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Tools of the Trade: Chimney Cleaning Equipment

Everyone loves a good fire burning in the fireplace. Every once in a while, though (generally between burn seasons), your chimney needs to be cleaned to remove buildup and keep you safe for many fires to come. A qualified chimney sweep should be able to tell you during your annual chimney inspection if a cleaning is necessary (which should be done when soot buildup reaches 1/8” in thickness), and the procedure can be completed by the sweep or by yourself with the help of a few essential chimney cleaning tools. Here’s what you (or your sweep) will need… Continue reading

Dryer Vent Cleaning and Maintenance

Dryer Vent Cleaning: for safety and savings

Dryer vent cleaning is an important part of fire prevention and home maintenance. Dryer vent fires are the most common type of house fires in the United States, with an estimated 15,000 fires annually (in fact, there’s more dryer vent fires than chimney fires). It’s little wonder why dryer vent fires are such a problem. Lint traps give the average home owner a sense of safety.

Unfortunately lint traps only capture a fraction of the total lint, which leave the rest of it lining your dryer vent. Luckily, this highly combustible lining gives its presence away. There are several signs that you might have an excessive accumulation of lint inside your vent.

Lint clogging your vent manifests itself in poor performance and excessive heat. Clothes will take longer to dry completely, and feel hotter once removed. The dryer may feel hot to the touch, and your laundry room may be more hot and humid than is normal. A faint burning smell might also be noticeable.

Any of these symptoms are cause to clean your dryer vent.

Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning

Periodic dryer vent cleaning and maintenance is essential. It’s recommended that twice a year your dryer vent is checked for lint buildup. Most lint accumulates near the end of the end of the vent tubing and within the back of your dryer. Remove any large accumulations of lint by hand or using a vacuum.

For optimal safety it’s recommended that you have your dryer vent professionally cleaned annually. While most lint accumulated near the ends of the vent, large chunks of lint may get stuck in the middle. Dryer vents are frequently long and difficult to clean the length of without special tools. Additionally, various factors can greatly increase the rate of lint accumulation. Sharp bends or kinks in the venting are the most common causes of rapid lint build up. An unexpected cause of rapid buildup is running a dryer vent through a cold area, such as an attic. This will cause condensation that will greatly increase the rate of lint accumulation. A local professional will know these and many more hazards and will inspect your dryer vent to ensure your safety.

While safety is the most important aspect of dryer vent cleaning, people are often surprised by the amount they can save on electricity. A clogged lint trap prevents your dryer from working efficiently, requiring much longer dryer cycles. Keeping your dryer vent clean is an easy way to help keep your electricity bills low.

If, like most American homes, it’s been years since a professional cleaned your dryer vent, it’s time to schedule a cleaning. We at High’s Chimney provide dryer vent cleaning to Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. We take the utmost care to provide accurate, professional service that will leave your home clean and safe.

Dryer Vent Cleaning, Why Is It Necessary?

There are many advantages to be had simply by keeping your home’s dryer vents clean, including increased safety and money savings.
Dryer Vent cleaning
Clothes dryer fires and hazardous carbon dioxide emissions often start with problems in the dryer’s venting system or lint trap area. Why these two places? Because the lack of proper vent cleaning and the use of improper dryer venting practices. Mixing the extreme heat of the dryer necessary to efficiently dry clothes and an over-abundance of lint and debris can be dangerous, if not deadly. Clean the lint filter/screen after each dryer use. Clean the vent and exhaust duct periodically as well.

Check the outside vent while the dryer is in operation to ensure that air is escaping and not getting clogged somewhere. It may be necessary to remove the exhaust duct from the dryer to dislodge an obstruction. Also, pull the dryer out from the wall and ensure that lint and other fibers are not lingering. This lint and debris amounts to highly-flammable particles of cotton and polyester that have come off of clothes being dried. Once these fibers clog the vent, heated air cannot escape.

Although you can perform many of those tasks yourself, it is also a good idea to have a professional come in yearly and give your dryer unit a thorough clean. You can even have a professional focused on chimney sweep services clean your chimney and dryer vent all at once. Today’s newer homes often place a dryer away from an outside wall, which makes the dryer is vented for a longer distance and inspection and debris removal is complicated. Many apartment/condominium complexes and homeowner’s associations now require an annual or semi-annual cleaning to prevent accidents and fires.

Another advantage to keeping dryer vents free of lint and debris is the money savings you will see. When lint traps, vents and exhaust areas are full of debris, heat is not distributed in the drum as it should be. This makes the dryer run longer in order to fully dry clothes. It may also take more than one cycle to completely dry a full or heavy load. Also, as your vent continues to fill with debris, the life expectancy of your dryer is cut in half with each load.

NEWS FLASH: Dryer Vent Fires Are More Common Than Chimney Fires

You can increase safety by a wide margin and get your clothes drier quicker, saving money and energy, simply by keeping your home’s dryer vents clean.

 Dryer Vent Fires are More Common than Chimney Fires

Clothes dryer fires and hazardous carbon dioxide emissions often start with problems in the dryer’s venting system or lint trap area. Why these two places? Because the lack of proper vent cleaning and the use of improper dryer venting practices. Mixing the extreme heat of the dryer necessary to efficiently dry clothes and an over-abundance of lint and debris can be dangerous, and sometimes even deadly.

Here is what you need to do for proper maintenance:

  • Clean the lint filter/screen after each dryer use.
  • Clean the vent and exhaust duct periodically.
  • Check the outside vent while the dryer is in operation to ensure that air is escaping and not getting clogged somewhere. It may be necessary to remove the exhaust duct from the dryer to dislodge an obstruction. This lint and debris is highly-flammable particles of cotton and polyester. Once these fibers clog the vent, heated air cannot escape.
  • Pull the dryer out from the wall and ensure that lint and other fibers aren’t collecting.
  • Hire proper chimney sweep services to come clean and maintain the vent.

Although you can perform many of those tasks yourself, it is a good idea to have a professional come in yearly and give your dryer unit a thorough clean. Because today’s newer homes often place a dryer away from an outside wall, the dryer is vented for a longer distance and inspection and debris removal is complicated to impossible without professional tools. Many apartment/condominium complexes and homeowner’s associations now require an annual or semi-annual cleaning to prevent accidents and fires.

If you have a gas dryer, there’s also CO poisoning to consider.  While we hear of deaths from CO once and awhile, death is relatively uncommon.  What is extremely common, and much more common that most people imagine, is the low level CO poisoning that keeps people feeling tired or in general malaise for years on end.

All dryers seem to allow a little dust to escape into the air we breathe.  This is especially so when the vents are full of lint.  Indoor air quality improves dramatically when the dryer vents are clean.

A final advantage to keeping dryer vents free of lint and debris is the dollar savings you will see. When lint traps, vents and exhaust areas are full of debris, heat is not distributed in the drum as it should be. This makes the dryer run longer in order to fully dry clothes. It may also take more than one cycle to completely dry a full or heavy load. Also, as your vent continues to fill with debris, the life expectancy of your dryer is cut in half with each load.  Some studies conclude that the cost off professional dryer vent cleaning can be free when offset by the savings.  Regardless, the health and safety benefits are well worth having. Even if it means staying on to up vent and gas fireplace maintenance.