1 Tip to Save Your Home from a Fire

Image copyright Steve Snodgrass.

Each weekend I do three to four loads of laundry and it would take me nearly all day to accomplish the job. I was frustrated with the amount of time our dryer took to dry clothes. Towels would take three 50 minute cycles to finish. I thought I had a crappy dryer. I was wrong. I have a good dryer but the dryer hose was dangerous, so dangerous that it could have easily started a fire in our home.

I had no idea of the danger in our home and I want to share this experience with you.  Lint is not your friend. I thought that cleaning out the lint trap in my dryer was enough, but what the trap does not catch, goes through the the hose, through the house, and eventually outside.

The builders who constructed our home in the mid 80’s decided to take a few shortcuts and used the incorrect material, a wire tubing with a plastic cover that I’m sure you’re familiar with, to run the dryer exhaust 90 degrees up into the attic and across the master bedroom. With this path and material, it was lint city. I hired an inspector to make sure everything was safe. He used a full power leaf blower connected to the tube, I expected this to push the lint and any debris into the yard but the flap on the vent didn’t budge. A leaf blower creates hurricane like winds, hundreds of miles an hour, and we didn’t see a budge. That gives you an idea of what I was up against.

With the help of my very handy father, we replaced the sub-par material with metal tubing and now the flap on my outside vent opens when the dryer is on. The old material was clogged and dilapidated.

I’m sharing this story because the housing inspector we hired to review the house didn’t check this out when we moved in, he couldn’t have, this was 30 years of lint and gunk in the tubes. Take some time to figure out where your hoses are going and the material used. You may be fortunate to have the dryer near the wall but give it a check.

A Few Dryer Safey Tips:

  1. Always clean the lint trap after every load.
  2. Use appliances while you are home. Be mindful not to put in clothes and leave for several hours or go to sleep.
  3. Use the thin attachment on your vacuum and clean out the area behind the lint trap. Unplug your dryer before doing so to avoid any zaps.
  4. Make an appointment to have your dryer vent checked and cleaned. I can’t speak for your town, but mine was $40. That’s a lot less than replacing our home and memories.
  5. Take note if you live in a townhouse, apartment, or condo. Your dryer may be in the center of your home, causing your hot air to travel much further.

I am so thankful that we resolved this problem. Now my towels take just one cycle to dry and I am expecting to see an impact on my electric bill!

Have you had any experiences with the dryer and venting materials?

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