Cleaning out trapped lint may be an ugly job, but someone has to do it. Left unchecked, a clogged outside dryer vent can cause all types of havoc, most of which being house fires. It’s been found that clogged dryers are only second to kitchen fires as the leading cause of home damage, which is aggravating considering how preventable the problem is.
Further, outside dryer vents also prevent the buildup of moisture in your walls and into your indoor air environment, which come with their own problems like mold and mildew, if allowed to deteriorate through negligence.
So what can you do to prevent these problems before they become an emergency? Proper placement and maintenance, of course!
Proper Vent Placement is Essential
The air that comes out of a dryer is hot, moist, and full of fibers, which can accumulate over time. To whit, effective placement of an outside dryer vent can prevent damage to your home and landscape.
Where some designs operate with slats, others direct the air down towards the ground into a depression near your foundation. Regardless of what type of outside dryer vent you go with that’s right for your home, optimize its performance by:
- Not allowing shrubs or bushes to obstruct the vent
- Cleaning out the vent at least 4 times a year
- Picking one that fits your home’s decor and needs
Speaking of regular cleaning…
Longer Drying Times? Check Your Vent First
Does it typically take more than one cycle to dry a load of laundry? Has it gotten worse over time? It likely could be that your outside dryer vent is clogged.
Where it may be as simple as running the dryer as long as you need to, it still impacts your energy costs. Even worse, you could be exacerbating a ticking time bomb in the form of lint buildup, which can cause a house fire.
If you notice that your dryer is not performing as well as it used to, check the lint trap and the vent. You could very well prevent a catastrophe.
Notice Any Cracks or Rust? It May Be Time for a Replacement
If you find that your slats are not moving smoothly, or notice any rust or corrosion, it may be time to replace your outside dryer vent. Continuing to run a minimally functioning dryer vent will only exacerbate any problems that may be brewing, so include an integrity check in your quarterly cleaning routine for maximum efficiency and safety.
Picking an Outside Dryer Vent that is Compatible with Your Appliances
Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to dryer vent applications. For those running older dryers, a downward-facing dryer vent may do the job. But what about those running gas-powered appliances? A metal one is highly recommended. Further, if no area near the foundation is apparent, a louvered wall vent would be a better choice.
All of the dryer vents available at FAMCO come with a built-in damper, which opens when hot air is expelled, and closes when not in use. For homeowners, this translates into reduced energy costs and moisture buildup.