A Look at the Dangers Posed by Dryer Vents

There’s no denying that dryer vents pose their fair share of dangers, which is why homeowners are advised to handle them with great caution for their own safety. If you were to take your own precautions, what better way to start things off than by learning about all the potential problems you’re likely to run into? Listed below are two examples of dangers you can expect from dryer vents.

House fires from lint buildup

This is the most common problem associated with dryer vents. As time goes on, you may slowly experience a steady buildup of lint in your dryer vent. Lint is highly flammable, and in large enough amounts, is can potentially be enough to burn your entire house down. Not the most comforting image, I know. In 2010 alone, lint buildup in clothes dryer caused more than 15,500 home fires in the United States.

How does lint do this? Well, when there is a sufficient buildup of lint in your dryer vent, the air that is able to flow through it is significantly reduced. Your exhaust gases will back up, resulting in a significantly increased risk of disaster.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to remedy the problem. The first and foremost solution is to have your dryer vent inspected and cleaned regularly. Secondly, you should also ensure that the vent duct is properly installed. Unskilled or improper installation is completely unacceptable. It not only makes your dryer a fire hazard, but also reduces its effectiveness, energy efficiency, and estimated life span.

Dangerous chemical released

Gas dryer exhausts are known to contain carbon monoxide. This odorless gas poses health hazards with varying levels of danger, depending on how much of it is inhaled. This is something to take into consideration if you have children whose bedroom windows may be close to the dryer vent.

Besides carbon monoxide, fabric softeners and detergents also contain vapors that are released into the environment as your clothes dry. Keep in mind that you’re not exposed to a single chemical, but combinations that can contain unknown varieties. In this sense, it would be far safer and cheaper to adopt alternatives, such as drying your clothes naturally on drying racks.

There are numerous ways to save you, your family, and your home from an unnecessary risk of these hazards. All it takes is constant vigilance, routine inspection, proper installation, and having the right knowledge to combat any potential dangers. Place no price on the sake of your health and that of your loved ones.