Why Dryer Lint Is So Dangerous

March 19, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

You might not think much of the lint that accumulates in your dryer, but if left unchecked, it can be a significant safety hazard. Believe it or not, clothes dryers are at the root of more than 20,000 house fires every single year, and dryer lint buildup is one of the biggest reasons why these appliances can turn into fire hazards.

Lint builds up inside your dryer, no matter what type of dryer you’re using. There is the lint trap, but there is also the ductwork and dryer vent to consider. The more lint builds up in these areas, the more airflow will be restricted and drying efficiency will be reduced. You may even find yourself needing appliance repair in St. Peters, MO to help with the problem. Lint can also result in a buildup of humidity levels around vents, causing mold and mildew to grow in your walls or insulation. But the biggest safety risk of all is that lint is combustible, meaning it can cause fires.

Removing lint is a simple process—your first step should be to remove the dryer lint trap after every use and take out any lint that’s built up inside of it. If the screen is clogged, there’s a chance it’s due to improper dryer sheet usage.

It can also help to invest in a dryer lint brush, a long-handled flexible brush that will help you reach into some of the areas of the appliance you would not otherwise be able to get to by hand. Take out the lint filter, and push the brush down into the opening to remove lint that’s built up inside the trap that didn’t come out with the filter. You shouldn’t have to push the brush too hard—simply maneuver the brush around the opening and hit as many surfaces as you can, getting out the large chunks of lint. The smaller pieces aren’t a huge concern. When you’re finished, set the filter back into the dryer.

Cleaning your dryer vents

While most people remember to clean out their dryer lint traps after each use, people often forget to clean their dryer vents. This is a task that should be done at least once a year.

To do this, unplug the dryer and look for where the exhaust vent and the dryer connect. There will be a pipe or hose held in place by a clamp or clip, which you should be able to easily loosen with the proper tools (pliers or a screwdriver should suffice). After you take off the pipe, reach into the dryer opening, or use a vent brush and get out as much lint as you can. You can then use a damp cloth to wipe off the connection to get rid of any remaining lint.

If your dryer still has a white or silver vinyl duct hose, you should replace it now, as it is flammable and can cause a house fire if ignited.

For more information about cleaning your dryer vents and lint traps, or to schedule appliance repair in St. Peters, MO, reach out to Crews Appliance Repair today.

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