In most homes, the laundry room is an afterthought. It’s tucked away and forgotten until it’s time to do laundry. Along with the cramped quarters, tight spaces and low lighting in your laundry room, you also have a dryer duct. The dryer duct is exactly what it sounds like — a long tube-like structure that allows hot air from the dryer to exit your home. Luckily, cleaning your dryer duct is easy and can be done in 15 minutes or less. Keeping the lint trap clean and unclogged will reduce the risk of fire as well as extend the life of your dryer. But why should you get your dryer duct cleaned?
Fire Prevention is the Number One Reason to Clean Your Ducts
Fire prevention is the main reason to clean your dryer ducts. Ducts that are clogged with lint are highly flammable. Though the risk of fire from a blocked duct is small, it’s still worth taking the necessary precautions. If a fire does start, it will go from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds. Heavy lint buildup can also cause your dryer to work harder than it should, increasing your energy usage and the frequency of repairs. Lint-filled ducts can also affect the drying time of your clothes. If your clothes are taking longer than normal to dry, it could be a sign that your ducts are clogged.
Dryer Duct Repair Can Be Costly
Another reason to clean your dryer ducts is to avoid the expensive expense of replacement. If you live in an area prone to high winds and extreme weather, you may be at risk for dryer duct damage. High winds can cause your dryer duct to become disconnected or bent out of shape. Duct damage is often mistaken for a broken dryer. An incorrectly placed duct will cause issues like longer drying times, high energy bills, and even a faulty dryer. If your dryer duct is damaged, it may need to be replaced. Replacing your duct is not an easy DIY project. It will most likely require hiring a professional for a costly repair or replacement.
Breathing Difficulties and Illness
If your dryer ducts are clogged with lint, you may notice an increase in allergies and breathing difficulties. Symptoms like persistent coughs, sore throats, sneezing and stuffy noses are all signs that your ducts are clogged. In rare cases, an extremely clogged duct can cause carbon monoxide buildup in your home. Although this is very rare, it’s always a good idea to keep your ducts clear of lint.
Installing a Vents-Only Duct System
If you live in an area prone to flooding or hurricanes, you may have to install a vents-only dryer duct system. A vents-only system redirects the flow of air from the dryer. This system is required in regions with high water levels. A vents-only system will not reduce your energy usage or the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes. If you’re replacing your ducts, you should clean your existing ducts before disconnecting them. Make sure to mark where each piece connects so you can put them back together in the proper order.
The dryer duct is a crucial part of your laundry room. This duct carries hot air from the dryer to the outside of your home. Keeping your ducts clean is important for fire prevention, energy efficiency and the health of your family.