Is It Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent?

It’s important to keep your dryer vents clean. Not only do clean dryer vents help improve your dryer’s performance and extend its life, but they drastically reduce the chances of a fire happening in your home. Dryer and washing machines contribute to 15,960 structure fires every year. The leading cause of these fires is a simple failure to clean.  

By regularly having your dryer vents inspected and cleaned, you could save the lives of you and your loved ones. Even if you clean your lint trap between every load (and you should), lint and other particles inevitably start to build up in your vents. The only way to ensure they are doing their job is to have them inspected and cleaned. 

The question is, how do you know if it’s time for your vents to be cleaned? 

Regardless of general usage and potential warning signs, you should have your vents inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Even then, you may need your vents to be inspected and cleaned more frequently. Here are a few signs that it might be time to have your dryer vents inspected. 

Clothes Aren’t Drying Properly 

Are you clothes or linens still damp after running them through the appropriate cycle? The solution isn’t simply to run them through an additional cycle. This is hard on both the fabric and your machine. Typically, an underperforming dryer is trying to tell you something. While you may think the dryer is breaking down, it could be as simple as a dirty dryer vent. 

When a dryer vent is clogged, air isn’t able to properly circulate and moisture gets trapped within the machine. This results in your clothes not properly drying. If your machine appears to be running fine, and your lint trap is clean, but your loads are coming out damp, it’s time to have your dryer vent inspected. 

Burning Smell 

It’s natural for a dryer to produce a scent of warm, clean fabric. If it smells like something is burning, however, you have a problem. You should immediately stop the machine and check for any signs of smoke. Even if the burning smell seems minor, and there’s no smoke, you shouldn’t run your dryer until you’ve had it inspected. 

Excessive Heat 

Dryers can reach temperatures of 125-135 degrees inside. When they’re in use, you can expect the outside to feel warm to the touch. Still, it should be completely safe to put your hand on it, even when it’s in use. If you touch your dryer and it feels hot, you likely have a problem. 

When a dryer vent is clogged, heat can’t properly ventilate. This results in heat building up within the machine, causing it to reach unnaturally high temperatures. Not only can this be damaging to the materials inside, but it can ultimately result in a fire breaking out. If your dryer seems hotter than it should be, it’s time for an inspection.  

Increased Lint Buildup 

As we mentioned before, you should be cleaning your lint trap in between every single load of laundry. With how simple it is to do, there’s really no excuse not to. When properly cleaning your trap, the amount of lint present will usually be minimal. If you find yourself peeling off entire sheets of lint between every load, there’s likely a problem.  

Inspecting and Cleaning Your Dryer Vents 

When it comes to having your dryer vents cleaned and inspected, it’s best to utilize a professional. They’ll be able to quickly access your vents without causing damage. If cleaning is needed, they have the tools necessary to make sure the job is done right. 

Hiring a professional vent cleaner is simple and affordable. Most importantly, it can extend the life of your dryer and protect the safety of your home. For dryer vent cleaning in Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding communities, contact us today! 

Things You Shouldn’t Put in Your Dryer

Once upon a time, people had to hang all of their clothing and linens outside to dry them. Not only did this expose them to the elements, but it could take quite a bit of time for them to dry. Thankfully, modern drying machines make the process much simpler. In addition to drying things, a dryer can be a quick and simple way to remove wrinkles or freshen up a specific clothing item. 

That said, you can’t just put anything in your dryer. Some materials simply aren’t made to handle the heat and tumbling cycle of dryers. Putting them inside can cause them to shrink, warp, and become ruined. 

Other items can actually damage the dryer itself and put your home at risk of a dryer fire. Here are a few items you should make sure to keep out of your dryer. 

Clothes and Fabric with Grease, Gas, and Oil 

It’s not easy to get grease and oil out of fabricsEven if you send them through the washing machine, residue can remain in their fibersGas, grease, and other oils are highly flammable. Even trace amounts can catch on fire when exposed to heat. 

Any clothes, cloths, or fabrics with oil, grease, gasoline, or other flammable chemicals on them should never be put inside of a drying machine. 

Beach Supplies 

A lot of us enjoy a day out at the beach. But once you leave, pieces of the beach tend to follow you. We’re talking about sand. It gets into everything, including your clothes and towels. If you’re not careful, that sand will get into your dryer as well. 

After you wash out your beach attire, you should consider hanging it up to dry rather than placing it inside of your dryer. 

Things with Pet Hair 

Pet’s are a wonderful thing. Pet hair, on the other hand, isn’t so great. If you have pets that shed, you’re probably used to hair being on everything. If you’re not careful, it can end up clogging up your lint trap and dryer vents as well.  

Any pet bedding or clothing should be left out of the dryer if possible. Even after a thorough washing, these items likely covered in hair. Instead, try air drying them. 

Excessive Dryer Sheets 

Dryer sheets are a popular way to leave your clothes feeling soft and static free when they come out of the dryer. They can even make them smell extra fresh. When used in excess though, these sheets can cause issues with your dryer. 

Dryer sheets actually work by leaving an invisible residue on your clothes that reduces static and leaves them feeling softer. However, this residue can build up on your lint trap as well, especially if sheets are used in excess. 

You should only use dryer sheets sparingly, if at all. 

Too Much at Once 

Placing too many clothes in your dryer at once is a bad idea. It generally means your clothes won’t properly dry, which means you’ll have to run them through again. This is hard on your clothes, and it’s hard on your dryer.  

Just save yourself the trouble and split your clothes and linens into smaller loads. 

Plastic and Rubber 

Only cloth materials should be going into your dryer. That means if something contains plastic or rubber, it shouldn’t go into your drying machine. 

While small buttons on shirts or pants should be fine, larger amounts of plastic can be damaging. As for rugs with rubber bottoms, these should stay out of your dryer altogether. When heated, small bits of rubber and plastic can break off, getting caught in your dryer’s lint trap.  

These materials increase the chances of combustion, posing a serious safety risk. 

Dirty Lint Trays 

You should never run your dryer with a dirty lint tray. Though it seems like a small thing, dirty lint tray causes your machine to work harder and results in more lint ending up in your dryer vents. Additionally, it increases the risk of a dryer fire. 

You should clean your lint tray out after every cycle. 

Even with proper tray cleaning, lint will build up in your dryer vents overtime. This is why you should have your vents inspected and cleaned at least once a year. For dryer vent cleaning in Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding communities, contact Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Company today! 

What to Do About Dryer Lint

Dryer lint is a natural part of the laundry cycle. Small fibers from your clothes collect together, forming a soft, fuzzy, grey mass. Dryers have long been equipped with lint traps to collect these fibers, allowing you to easily remove them in a large clump. 

The question is, what do you do with the lint once you’ve removed it? 

Can You Repurpose Dryer Lint? 

Most people simply toss their lint in the garbage. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. Some, however, get a little more creative. Because it’s soft and fluffy, some use it as bedding for smaller pets such as guinea pigs and gerbils. Others will use it as stuffing for stuffed animals and more. 

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can add some glue, some soap, and some water and make modeling clay out of it. 

A quick search online will give you all sorts of ideas of what you can do with dryer lint besides toss it in the garbage. 

Whatever you end up doing with it, just remember…. 

Dryer Lint Can Be Very Dangerous  

Left unchecked, lint can build up, impacting your machine’s efficiency and causing it to wear out faster. Lint can also absorb moisture, raising humidity and spreading mold. Most alarmingly, however, dryer lint can actually catch on fire within your machine. 

Clothes dryers cause thousands of house fires every year. The leading cause of dryer fires is a failure to clean. 

Your lint trap should be removed and cleaned in between every load of laundry. But that’s not enough. Some fibers get past the trap, building up inside of your dryer vent. That’s why you also need to make sure your dryer vents are regularly inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a certified professional. 

For dryer vent cleaning in Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding communities, contact Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Company today! 

Why is My Dryer Underperforming?

It’s laundry day. Your second load of clothes is finishing up in the washing machine, while your first load finishes its dryer cycle. The timers on both machines ding, and you go to empty the dryer so you can move over the next batch of washed clothing. 

There’s just one problem. The clothes in the dryer are still wet. 

Despite going through a full cycle at the appropriate setting, you now have to run them again. Meanwhile, the load that just finished in the washing machine has to sit in a wet heap, building up an unpleasant damp smell. The clothes in the dryer face extra wear and potential shrinking due to another dryer cycle. 

And your drying machine itself goes through added stress due to the additional cycles. 

Running each dryer load multiple times is not a solution to your problem. Not only is it hard on your cloths, your machine, and your electricity bill, but it could potentially lead to a dryer fire. 

Instead, you should find the source of the problem and address it. The good news is, it can be a relatively simple fix. 

Check Your Lint Trap 

Despite its small size and simple function, your lint trap can have a major impact on how well your dryer performs. A lint trap should be cleaned after every load of laundry. Not only does it improve performance, but it greatly reduces the chances of dryer fires. 

Make no mistake, the threat of dryer fires is very real. Dryers and washing machines cause nearly 16,000 structure fires a year. 90% of those fires stem from clothes dryers. 

Don’t Overfill It 

Dryers need space to work effectively. If you’re overfilling your dryer to the point where clothes are literally spilling out of it, it’s too full. And if your dryer is too full, it probably means you’re washing too many clothes at once as well. Make sure to follow capacity guidelines for both your washer and dryer. 

You may think that doing more clothes at once will save you on water and electricity, but it actually just leads to more stress on your machine, while leaving your clothes dirty and wet. 

Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned 

Even with a properly maintained lint trap, your dryer’s vents and ducts will get dirty. Overtime, lint can build up to the point where it blocks airflow. As with lint traps, this leads to underperformance and greatly increases the chances of dryer fires.  

Your dryer vents should be inspected and cleaned once a year. 

For dryer vent cleaning in the Dayton, Ohio area, Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Company has you covered. We’ve been working in the HVAC industry since 1970. 

What if My Machine Still Isn’t Drying? 

If you’ve done everything listed above, and your vents are clean, it’s time to call a repairman. They’ll be able to inspect your unit and see if a part needs to be replaced. Otherwise, it might be time for an upgrade. 

You might not want to shell out the money for a new machine, but trust us, it’s much better to buy a new dryer than risk a dryer fire happening in your home. 

Where Should You Place Your Laundry Room?

Washers and dryers are big, bulky, and often unattractive. Additionally, they tend to collect messiness from lint, spilled detergent, dirty clothes, etc. It’s tempting to exile them to a backroom or basement.

On the other hand, laundry is something that has to be done frequently, especially for those with larger families. You want to consider convenience.

Since everyone’s home and personal situation is different, we thought we’d put together a few points to consider when placing a laundry room in your home.

Be Mindful of Stairs 

Basements have long been a popular spot for laundry rooms. After all, they’re out of sight, and they tend to be a little messy or unfinished already. However, placing a laundry room in the basement also means you have to use the stairs multiple times during everyone laundry session.

For those who are young and physically fit, this might not seem like a big issue, but it can become one. The longer you live in your home, the older you’ll become. With age comes an aversion to excess stair use. Additionally, you could end up getting injured at any time in your life, which suddenly makes stairs much more challenging.

That’s not to say basements are a terrible place for laundry machines. You simply need to weigh the pros and cons.

Consider Noise Levels

Do you have a smaller room near your main bedroom? You may consider placing a washer and dryer there. After all, your bedroom is where you keep your clothes. For many, it’s where they do the folding and sorting of laundry as well.

That certainly makes it convenient. But washers and dryers can get loud when they’re being used. If you have someone trying to sleep nearby, this noise can be very unpleasant. If you run laundry through the night, or there are people operating under different sleep schedules in your house, you may want to keep your laundry away from the bedrooms.

Keeping Noise and Appliances Together 

One option that’s become more popular is placing a laundry room near a kitchen or mudroom. Both these areas tend to be noisier. Due to the heavy use they experience, they’re some of the most regularly cleaned places in your home as well, so you can easily clean up your laundry room at the same time.

If you’re able to, adding a slightly tucked away laundry station between your entryway and kitchen can be an almost perfection solution.

If you have a climate-controlled garage, that can work as well.

Ventilation is Key 

Wherever you place your washer and dryer, it’s important that they’re properly installed and ventilated. Washing machines and dryers cause nearly 16,000 structure fires per year. The primary reasons behind these fires include poor installation, a lack of proper ventilation, lack of maintenance, and failure to clean.

Even if you have your laundry room properly setup and installed, it still needs regular maintenance and cleaning. A dirty dryer is an accident waiting to happen. For dryer vent cleaning in Dayton, Ohio and beyond, contact Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Company today.

Most Common Causes of House Fires (and How to Prevent Them)

A house fire is something everyone hopes to never experience. But the reality is that there are an average 355,400 home structure fires per year. With the right precautions, however, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a part of this horrible statistic.

Many home fires can be prevented with attentiveness and proper maintenance. By knowing the common causes of house fires, you can be proactive in keeping your home safe.

Cooking Surfaces

Cooking equipment and hot surfaces are far and away the leading cause of house fires. This includes stove tops, hot plates, griddles, and more. Typically, someone leaves food to cook or a pan to heat up, only for a fire to start while they’re away.

Whenever you have a hot surface or open flame going in your home, always remain in the room. Even if you’re just going to run to the bathroom quick or you need to grab something from another room, either turn off any open flames or have someone watch things for you.

Also never keep towels, rags, or papers near hot cooking surfaces. Lastly, always remember that hot plates, griddles, and certain stove tops can remain very hot even after you turn them off.

Electric Appliances

Electricity offers many wonderful benefits for our modern day lives. However, it’s important to always remember that electricity is very powerful and very dangerous. Not only can it shock and cause harm to your body, but it’s a common cause of house fires.

Typically, electricity fires stem from appliance breakdown or frayed cords. Always check the cords of your appliances to make sure they’re in good condition. Replace old items with newer ones after certain periods of time.

And get in the habit of unplugging appliances when you’re not using them.

Candles

Candles may look nice and smell pretty, but at the end of the day, they’re an open flame in your home. Some would caution to avoid using candles altogether. Today, you can get candle warmers, scented plugins, and fake candles, all of which can emit lovely smells without the risk of fire.

If you really love candles, and you don’t want to get rid of them, you need to handle them appropriately. Never leave a candle lit in a room that you’re not in. Be cautious with how many candles you have lit at once.

And don’t have a candle burning when you’re lying in bed. After all, 37% of candle fires start in the bedroom.

It’s worth mentioning that even when candles are handled responsibly, they can build up soot in your ductwork.

Smoking

Smoking is something that’s best avoided altogether. Not only is it a common cause for fires in homes, but it’s one of the leading causes of early death in people. Should you choose to smoke (specifically inside your home), be careful.

Always make sure your cigarette is fully extinguished and never smoke when you’re feeling sleepy. Much like candles, cigarettes have been shown to be especially dangerous in bedrooms.

Also, like candles, smoking can dirty your ducts. When we clean ductwork, we can tell if there have been smokers by the amount of tar built up.

Drying Machines

Dryers and washing machines cause nearly 16,000 structural fires a year, leading to 13 annual deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. More than nine times out of ten, the fire begins with the dryer.

Over a quarter of these dryer fires start with lint. First and foremost, you should always clean out your lint trap between dryer loads. It’s so simple, there’s no excuse not to do it. Beyond that, make sure your dryer vents are being regularly inspected and cleaned.

Overtime, the vents of your dryer build up lint. This can cause your machine to overheat, which in turn, greatly increases the chances of a fire breaking out. For dryer vent cleaning in Springfield and the greater Miami Valley area, contact Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Company today.

We’ll help keep your home safe.

Don’t Underestimate Dryer Lint

Cleaning out your dryer’s lint trap is one of the easiest home maintenance tasks there is. And yet, countless people skip over it while running load after load through their dryer. After all, how much of a difference can something as small as a lint trap make?

A lot, actually.

A dirty lint trap causes your dryer to underperform, and it can lead to it breaking down faster. Even worse, it can pose a serious safety issue. Dryer fires contribute to an average of 15,960 structure fires a year. 31% of these fires come from a failure to clean your dryer.

It only takes a few seconds, yet cleaning your dryer’s lint trap makes a serious difference. So please…

Clean Out Your Lint Trap EVERY Time

When your lint trap is full, it can’t do its job of capturing excess lint. This lint has to go somewhere, and it usually goes into your dryer hose. Soon, the hose starts to become clogged, and your machine’s performance begins to suffer.

The machine has to worker harder to dry clothes, and you may have to run a load multiple times before you achieve the results you should have received after the first cycle. In addition to damaging your machine and wasting your own time, you’ll see your energy bill start to climb.

And most importantly, a dirty dryer puts you at risk of having a fire in your home. Dryers can run very hot. Lint consists of dry, loose pieces of fabric. Put these two factors together, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Emptying Your Lint Trap Isn’t Enough

Even if you’re cleaning out your lint trap responsibly, it’s not going to get all of the lint out of your system. That’s why you still need to have your dryer vents regularly inspected and cleaned out. For that, you’ll want to call a professional.

A clean dryer is safer and more effective, something you from a lot of troubles in the future. For dryer vent cleaning in Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding area, contact Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Company today!

Extending the Life of Your Dryer

It’s in your best interest to have your dryer live a long, healthy life. Not only are dryers expensive to replace, but they can be dangerous when not properly cared for. We’ve put together a few simple steps to follow to ensure your dryer keeps cycling for years to come. 

Empty Your Lint Trap 

The first rule of dryer upkeep is to empty the lint trap after every load of laundry. It doesn’t matter if it was a small load, or if the trap doesn’t look dirty. Cleaning it out takes a few seconds, and it can add a significant amount of life to your dryer. 

It also helps it run better, keeping your energy bill down while your clothes dry faster. 

Don’t Run Your Dryer for Longer Than Needed 

Some people put their dryer on the same time-length/cycle no matter what they’re drying. This is a mistake. You should only run your dryer for the minimum amount of time needed to dry your clothing.  Be mindful of how big the dryer load is and how wet it is, and set the dryer accordingly from there. 

Some newer dryers have moisture sensors that can automatically turn off when your clothes are dry. It’s definitely worth checking to see if yours does. 

Don’t Overload  

Stuffing as many clothes as possible into your dryer seems like it might save time, but it really doesn’t. An overfilled dryer will struggle to properly dry clothes, forcing you to run additional cycles anyway. Additionally, this places added stress to the dryer, which causes it to wear out faster. 

Clean on the Outside 

Washer/dryer areas can get dirty. Detergent and softener spills. Dust is abundant. If you want your dryer to maintain appearances over its life span, keep it clean inside and out 

Have Your Dryer Vents Cleaned 

Dirty dryer vents can cause serious problems. When vents are blocked, your dryer works harder. When it works harder, it’s less efficient, it wears out more quickly, and it increases the chances of danger. Failure to clean dryer vents is the leading cause of dryer and washing machine fires. 

By having your vents professionally cleaned, you can protect not just your clothes dryer, but your family as well. For dryer vent cleaning in the Springfield, Ohio area, contact Air Duct Cleaning & Radon Co today!