Dryer Vent Maintenance Is Essential for a Safer Home – Call Us Now To Schedule
Are your clothes taking too long to dry, forcing you to run cycle after cycle before you can finally put them away? Dryers are supposed to make your life easier and more convenient – not invite stress and hassle – which makes this scenario a frustrating one for countless homeowners. Most will automatically blame the dryer itself, but in reality, this is an issue that’s usually the fault of clogged up dryer vents.
Like chimneys, dryer vents can become a serious fire and safety risk when not regularly and properly maintained. The good news is that, here at Highpoint Chimney Services, we inspect, install, and clean your vents, so that you can stress less about potential harm from coming to your home.
Our goal is to help our clients enjoy the convenience of their dryer, and feel safer with every cycle, knowing their system has been inspected and installed properly. We serve Somerset, Middlesex, and Hunterdon Counties, and we’d love to help you out soon.
All About Our Dryer Vent Services
Our dryer vent services include:
- Dryer Vent Installation: We install dryer vents, using metal ducts. This provides the proper level of safety your home needs, and ensures your vents stay sturdy and reliable for years to come.
- Dryer Vent Inspections: We use the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to inspect your dryer vents. These allow us to detect any issue that might be causing issues within them – and, in turn, helps us resolve any problems before they become fire hazards.
- Dryer Vent Cleanings: We use specially-designed tools to clean your dryer vents and get rid of lint buildup. Clogged up vents are a serious fire hazard, and they could cause harmful fumes to leak back into your home too.
By investing in regular maintenance from us, you can rest easier knowing your vents are free of lint and any other debris that might interfere with proper functioning. Stay safer and boost efficiency by working with our techs for it all.
How Often Should Dryer Vents Be Cleaned?
Like with chimney inspections, your dryer vents should be inspected and cleaned out at least once per year by a certified dryer exhaust technician. This ensures they’re free of damage and that no combustible lint is lingering and slowly forming clogs. Fortunately for those in the Hillsborough area, our crew of highly trained chimney sweeps can help with both of these services!
Once our overview and maintenance is complete, we can then make recommendations for any necessary repairs or upgrades that would improve the safety and efficiency of the appliance.
Should I schedule two dryer vent cleanings per year?
Possibly! If you have a larger household, you’re probably running more drying cycles, and therefore may need to have your dryer vents cleaned more frequently. Additionally, if you’re drying things that produce a lot of lint, like towels, stuffed animals, or blankets, you may need to have your vents cleaned more often.
In general, it is better to err on the side of caution and have your dryer vents cleaned more frequently than less frequently. So, if you’re concerned, start out scheduling two per year, then you can always lower it to once per year if your technician feels this is appropriate.
How Do I Know If I Need a Dryer Vent Cleaning?
Not sure if you’re due for a cleaning or not? First things first, ask yourself when your last cleaning was. If it’s been over a year, then you should get an appointment scheduled with our technicians right away. That said, there are some other signs you can look for too:
- Your clothes are taking longer than normal to dry. Clogs in your vent reduce airflow, which then makes a big impact on efficiency. If you’re running cycle after cycle because your clothes are still damp, there’s a good chance your vents are the problem.
- You notice a musty or burning smell. If you walk into your laundry room during a drying cycle and it smells strange, like something might be burning, then your alarm bells should be ringing. It’s likely your dryer is overheating because of clogged up vents.
- Excess lint is showing up places it shouldn’t. If you notice lint inside the dryer, coming out of your lint trap, or showing up on the floor surrounding it, something isn’t right. Chances are, your vents are backed up and your lint is working its way into other spots as a result.
- Your dryer and/or clothes are hot to the touch. Does your dryer feel strangely hot? Or do your clothes seem much too warm after taking them out of the dryer? Then, your appliance is overheating, and a vent cleaning may solve the problem.
- Your utility bills are going up. If your dryer is working harder and longer to dry your clothes due to clogged up vents, your utility bills will suffer as a result – which means paying for a cleaning can actually save you money over time.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your dryer vent cleaned by a professional as soon as possible to prevent potential fire hazards and ensure that your dryer is operating efficiently. Regular cleaning of the dryer vent is also recommended to prevent lint buildup and ensure proper airflow.
Can Clogged Dryer Vents Cause Dryer Fires?
Yes – in fact, this is the leading cause of dryer fires. When the hot air and moisture from the dryer cannot escape properly, it can cause the dryer to overheat. And if the temperature gets high enough, it can ignite the lint and dust that have accumulated in the vent, spreading flames through the vent and throughout the laundry room.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 3,000 dryer fires occur every year in the United States, resulting in injury, death, and millions of dollars in property damage. These are sad facts to consider when this is one event that is easy to avoid by investing in some simple maintenance.
To prevent dryer fires caused by clogged vents, invest in a cleaning at least once every year – or more if you put your dryer to frequent use. Additionally, avoid drying items that have been exposed to flammable substances, such as gasoline or cooking oil, and don’t leave the dryer running when you aren’t home.
Can Clogged Dryer Vents Cause Carbon Monoxide Leaks?
Yes, clogged dryer vents can contribute to carbon monoxide leaks.
How? Well, when your vents become filled up with lint and other debris, the dryer itself has to work harder to function correctly and efficiently. And the harder it works, the more overall wear and tear it will experience, which can then result in damage to internal components – including your gas valve.
The gas valve’s function is to regulate the flow of gas in your dryer, ensuring it can help the dryer run correctly – without allowing carbon monoxide to enter back into your home in the process. But if it’s damaged, it could cause this poisonous gas to backtrack into your laundry room.
In addition to this, if the vent is clogged with debris, your dryer won’t be able to vent properly, which can then cause gas to back up and enter into your household.
The good news is that carbon monoxide leaks can be prevented by taking appropriate steps to keep your dryer in good condition. Such as…
- ensuring your dryer is properly installed by a certified tech
- checking regularly to ensure the vent is free of any obstructions
- having your vents installed by a professional
- booking annual dryer vent cleanings – or more, if necessary
- investing in carbon monoxide detectors for your home
- cleaning out your lint trap after every drying cycle
Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?
Carbon monoxide is one of the most poisonous gases out there, leading to hundreds of deaths every year and tens of thousands of emergency room visits. But what is it that makes it so dangerous?
Essentially, it prevents the blood in your body from transporting oxygen. Since every organ in your body is made up of cells and requires oxygen to function, this quickly creates a lot of problems and will cause your internal systems to shut down. Eventually, you’ll pass out, and if exposure continues after this, it could prove fatal.
But here’s the big issue with carbon monoxide – it’s both colorless and odorless, so detecting it in the air you’re breathing is next to impossible. Because of this, knowing the symptoms of exposure (headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, shortness of breath, etc.), and having carbon monoxide detectors installed throughout your home are both imperative steps for maintaining a safer household.
Can I Slow Down Dryer Lint Buildup?
Like with chimneys and creosote, dryers and lint are two things that just go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, you can’t enjoy the benefits of one (the dryer/chimney) without dealing with the dangers of the other (creosote/lint buildup). But, like with creosote, there are things you can do to slow down the rate at which lint accumulates.
- Clean out your lint trap after every load. Make it a habit to clean your lint trap after every single drying cycle. We also recommend gently washing it with soapy water once a month – just be sure to let it dry fully before putting it back.
- Use dryer sheets sparingly. While these sheets can make your clothes smell fresher and reduce that unwelcome static, they also tend to leave a residue on the lint trap, reducing its overall effectiveness. Use them sparingly – or consider using dryer balls instead.
- Avoid overloading your dryer. We get it – the more clothes you stuff in there, the faster you can get laundry done, right? But overloading this appliance can actually prevent air from flowing freely and increase the risk of lint buildup.
- Invest in the right dryer vent material. Use a smooth and rigid or semi-rigid metal duct for your dryer vent. These are less likely to accumulate lint than flexible (accordion-style) plastic or foil ducts – and are less prone to experience damage too.
- Schedule annual vent cleanings. Just like scheduling a chimney cleaning every year helps maintain the life and efficiency of your chimney system, it’s important to do the same for your dryer vents. Have a certified team of pros, like the crew here at Highpoint, clean out your dryer vents at least once a year – or more frequently, if needed. This service ensures that any lint buildup is removed and that your dryer is working as safely and efficiently as possible.
- Replace your dryer. If you’re doing all the right things, and lint is still building up fast, it could simply mean that your dryer is on its last leg. The upside is that there are now high-efficiency models on the market, so you’ll be sure to get the most from your new system in years to come.
By taking these steps, you can reduce your risk of dryer fires, gas leaks, and inefficiency significantly.
Is It Safe to Clean Your Dryer Vents Yourself?
Lots of dryer vent cleaning kits are sold in stores or online, all claiming to get the job done just as effectively as a professional would – and at a much lower price point too. But are they really safe to use?
No – DIY dryer vent cleaning is highly advised against. For one, it’s easy to miss spots, especially if your venting system is long or has lots of turns, twists, and bends. This lends a false sense of security for homeowners who think their vents are good to go, only to experience issues later because buildup is still present.
In addition to this, sometimes homeowners end up increasing the risk of experiencing fires or gas leaks by packing the lint in even more and creating clogs, rather than pushing it safely out.
Finally, there’s the increased risk of damaging the vents or dryer. Using the cleaning tools incorrectly can cause dents, cracks, or other issues that then make your dryer unsafe to use.
Remember – we actually go through training to become certified in dryer vent cleaning, studying lengthy materials to ensure we have all of the ins and outs covered. There’s more to this job than meets the eye, and if you ask us, it’s not worth taking any chances. Hire our pros from the very start, so you can rest easier knowing your system is running safely and properly.
How Much Do Dryer Vent Cleanings Cost?
Well, unfortunately, we don’t have a simple answer for you, except to say that it depends. The price of your dryer vent cleaning can vary based on a few different factors, such as:
- the company you hire
- the length of your vents (since longer vents are harder to clean)
- how many turns and twists your vents have
- how accessible your vents are
- whether it’s been over a year since your last cleaning
If you’d like an estimate, please give us a call. Once we get a better picture of your unique setup and needs, we can offer more information in terms of pricing.
How Can Clogged Dryer Vents Cost Me Money?
Owning your own home is exciting, but it’s also costly – and requires a lot of upkeep, time, and professional care to maintain its value. Because of this, many homeowners find themselves wondering which services they can delay or put off and which should actually be a priority.
And, unfortunately, dryer vent cleanings tend to be one of the ones folks just don’t want to spend their money on. They simply put it off, and then end up forgetting about it. Unfortunately, while skipping this maintenance (or attempting to do it yourself) does save you money upfront, it can lead to a lot more money loss later.
- You’ll likely need a replacement dryer sooner, due to excessive wear and more cycles being run.
- You’ll need to invest in new clothes more regularly, since running through cycle after cycle will wear them down quicker.
- Your risk of fires will increase, and if one occurs, you’ll likely be shelling out thousands in home repairs.
- If anyone is injured as a result of the fire (or due to a gas leak), you’ll have medical bills to add to your monthly budget.
- Since you’ll be running your dryer more often, your energy bills will increase.
- The extra heat in your laundry room can trigger damage to surrounding storage and appliances.
As you can see, investing in some early (and affordable) maintenance early on is probably the more cost effective route after all.
CALL US TODAY 908-864-4114
What Does C-DET Stand For?
C-DET stands for Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician. This is a credential offered by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and it is the only nationally recognized credential of its kind. The CSIA awards it to individuals who, like with a CSIA certification, pass an extensive examination based on information covered in the C-DET manual.
This certification also must be renewed every three years to stay valid, so rest assured that techs who hold it really do know their stuff. When it comes to venting, staying sharp and up to date on it all is a must, so this isn’t a detail to overlook!
Why is a certification important?
When it comes to dryer vents, it’s common for people to think they can clear out their vents themselves. What most don’t realize is how easy it is to cause damage or miss important areas. Any minor flaw in your vent system or any area of buildup brings risks with it, so this isn’t a task to take lightly.
Trusting a tech who is certified and has the appropriate equipment for the job will ensure your dryer is able to function as efficiently and as safely as possible.
Do You Need a Bird Guard?
Dryer vent cleanings are important, but be sure the exterior part of your vent – the place where the air comes out – isn’t clogged up either. Somewhere on the exterior of your home, your vents should have an exit point that is covered by a small door or hinged flaps that are pushed open when the dryer is running. If this area is clogged, the air won’t be able to escape, making buildup more likely and putting the safety of your household at risk.
And while these can clog up with lint from the dryer, it’s also common for them to be blocked by outside materials, as well – or sometimes even animals. Because of this, we recommend investing in a bird guard to add that extra layer of protection.
A bird guard for dryer vents is a mesh or wire cage that is installed over the exterior vent to prevent birds and other curious critters from entering the vent and trying to set up camp in this cozy, warm, and well-enclosed area of your home. Essentially, these devices are designed to allow airflow out while keeping animals and other debris at bay.
Bird guards come in a range of sizes and styles, so finding the right fit for your setup shouldn’t be an issue at all – and our team would love to help you out. Trust our techs to get yours properly installed, so it effectively does its job without impeding the flow of air from the dryer.
Is There an Ideal Time to Schedule Dryer Vent Maintenance?
With chimney repairs, cleanings, and inspections, we tend to encourage springtime scheduling to stay ahead of the game and to get maintenance done in more ideal weather conditions for long-lasting results.
As for dryer vent cleanings, we wouldn’t say there’s necessarily an ideal time of year to get it done, but it might be in your best interests to have us complete the job when we’re already out completing your chimney and fireplace services. Then, you can knock everything out at once!
But, really, as long as you’re getting dryer vent cleanings and inspections done annually (or twice a year, if needed) and on a consistent basis, we’re happy.
Don’t Delay – Give Our Pros a Call Now
Stop wasting money and energy on an inefficient dryer system – our professional chimney sweeps bring over 15 years of experience, we always strive to offer the best service possible, and we’d be happy to help you out soon.
Call us at 908-864-4114 or reach out online soon.
Want a freestanding stove to provide more efficient heat in your home? Here at Highpoint Chimney Services, we can take care of that for you along with many other chimney-related services like chimney sweeping.