Clogged dryer vents decrease dryer operating efficient, increase drying time, expose your clothing to increased heat, and potentially cause house fires. Aside from the dangers created by debris blocking up a dryer vent, operating efficiency is lost because a dryer unable to perform the principle function of displacing water vapor.
Appliance manufactures recommend dryer vent cleaning annually; however, such frequency is probably unnecessary. We recommend inspection annually, but the service is performed usually every two to three years. Dryer vent systems with vents over 20 feet require an increased amount of maintenance because exhaust pressure decreases as the vent length increases, thus lint is able to settle and accumulate.
Dryer Vent Fire Statistics from U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s)
National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
- An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
- Clothes dryer fire incidence in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent.
- Failure to clean (34 percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
- Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) and clothing not on a person (27 percent) were, by far, the leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
- Fifty-four percent of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were confined to the object of origin.