The majority of homeowner maintenance issues can be monitored with a simple visual inspection. But, there’s one homeowner maintenance item that you can’t see and, if ignored, might cause a fire. If you’re concerned about home safety, this is one you’ll want to pay attention to and complete on a regular basis. Here we’ll reveal the most dangerous homeowner maintenance task to ignore, how you identify it and when to hire professional.
Most Dangerous Homeowner Maintenance Task to Ignore
Most know that they have to clear their dryer’s lint vent after every load to prevent fire and ensure the dryer will function properly during the next load. But, fewer know all the lint does not get caught in the lint trap. In fact, quite a bit of the lint exits the dryer through the exhaust vent. Some stays in the wall and some you’ll probably find at the exit vent somewhere on the exterior of your house. Because lint is highly flammable, the lint that has accumulated in the wall is a house fire waiting to happen. How do you know when it’s time to clean it?
Is Your Dryer Taking More than One Cycle to Dry?
It happens gradually. Slowly but surely your dryer is taking longer and longer to dry clothes. You might think there’s a problem with your dryer, when it actually just means your dryer’s exhaust vent is clogged up. It should only take one cycle for your dryer to dry clothes. If they are still damp, and you haven’t cleaned your lint trap in a while, it is definitely time.
How Do I Clean Dryer Lint?
It is a fairly easy task to clean the lint vent yourself. All you need is a lint cleaner brush and a blower (the one you use to maintain your yard is fine) or shop vac. First you start by moving your dryer so you have access to the dryer vent in the wall. Then, you stick the blower in and turn it on full blast. You’ll need to keep it running for several minutes to get as much of the lint as possible. Next, go outside to the exterior vent and use the lint brush to careful try to get any excess lint still in the pipe. Finally, clean up all the lint you cleared out. If you want a little more detail, there are plenty of how-to videos on YouTube as well that will guide you through step by step.
If you don’t have a blower or shop vac or just don’t want to deal with the mess, you can usually find a local professional to clean out the dryer vent for somewhere under $100.
How Often Should I Clean the Vent?
Ideally, you’ll want to clean the dryer vent at minimum once per year, even if your dryer is still functioning fine. Because lint is highly flammable, you want to prevent any build up to minimize your risk for fire. Cleaning the lint trap is a fairly easy homeowner maintenance task to complete. When the risk is as big as your house burning down, it’s not something you want to neglect. Have a pest problem? Or would you like to take preventative measures?
Clean Dryer Vents Also Save Money on Utilities
As if preventing a fire wasn’t motivation enough, cleaning the dryer vent regularly will also save you money on your utility bills as well. Dryers that function properly and don’t need to run 2-3 cycles to accomplish what could have been accomplished in 1 cycle, cost less to operate.
Buying a Older Home in Austin?
Don’t assume the previous homeowner had the lint vent cleaned out recently. I would recommend having the vent cleaned before you move in, so you know it’s done and there is minimal risk for a fire.
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