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When we think of common hazards to be found in our homes most of us think of fire dangers of faulty wiring or improperly attended fireplaces. Denver Dryer Vent Cleaning Service. Or perhaps that loose board on the staircase, or carbon monoxide from a faulty heater. How many of us realize the danger caused by something as simple as the buildup of excess lint in our dryer vents?

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Many of us clean the lint filter in our dryers on a regular basis, often to be amazed at just how much of the seemingly harmless fluffy stuff can accumulate in a short period of time. But, much like an iceberg, this is only a small indication of what may be lurking beneath the surface. Lint gathers everywhere in our dryer. It can clog the internal workings, become lodged around the door opening, and find its way behind the machine. And it can certainly gather in the dryer vent tube. This may be especially true if this tubing is made of a flexible foil or plastic which may contain ridges where the lint tends to become trapped. As you can see, simply cleaning out the small lint trap will certainly not prove sufficient to protect ourselves from the hazards of lint buildup.

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So, what exactly are these hazards? First, and probably foremost, is the danger of fire. Lint can be highly flammable. So much so that some people use the lint retrieved from their dryer filter as kindling in their fireplaces! But that’s just the beginning. Such a buildup can also cause a dangerous accumulation of carbon monoxide, a dangerous, and possibly lethal, gas. And aside from these more dire, life-threatening problems, excess lint can harm your wallet, as well. It can cause an increase in drying times, leading to excessive utility bills. Longer drying times also add to the wear and tear on your dryer, resulting in needed repairs, or even replacement. Your clothing may suffer, too, as a result of extended exposure to heat.

There are a number of warning signs which indicate that you may have a problem with excess lint buildup in the dryer vent. These include:

  • Excess lint found behind the dryer, in your clothes, or around the door seal.
  • Mold or mildew that is seen or smelled in the dryer.
  • Overheating or shut-off in mid-cycle.
  • Long drying times.

If you spot any of these signs, it’s time to consider cleaning out your dryer vent. This should be done about once a year, in any case. There are a number of professional services available to do the job, and you can count on them to know exactly what to do. Many people, however, prefer to tackle the task on their own, and you can purchase cleaning kits to do just that. These can be as simple as a brush on a flexible extension rod. Or you may prefer a vacuum attachment. Just be sure you follow all the instructions carefully. Cleaning a vent can sometimes be a bit tricky, requiring a bit of finesse. Driving a brush too forcefully into the vent may serve to compact the lint and cause a blockage, which will only add to the problem. You should also clean the working components of the dryer, which are accessible through an access panel.

In conclusion, whether you choose to hire a professional or go the DIY route, don’t ignore this bit of maintenance. You’ll be repaid with a safer home, lower utility costs, better-looking clothing, and peace of mind.

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