Home - Garden
The Hidden Danger Lurking In Your Dryer Vents
Cleaning out your dryer lint trap is one of the first lessons you learn when you start doing laundry, but you need to clean out the dryer vent as well. Your lint trap gathers loose lint during the dryer cycle, while your dryer vent collects all the debris that your lint trap doesn’t get and directs it outside your home.
A blocked vent can lead to a half-damp and wrinkled load of laundry, but the buildup of grass, dryer sheets, and paper can also lead to fire. Between 2014 and 2018, fire departments encountered an estimated 13,820 house fires stemming from the dryer — one third of which came from dryer vent buildup — so you want to clean the vent every three months, and thoroughly every six months.
Carbon monoxide can be a major threat to your dryer vent as well, as the odorless and colorless gas can build up in an obstructed vent and get pushed into your home. Animals can also get in the way of your vent, particularly birds, so if you live in a woodsy area, you should opt for a covered dryer-duct system, which will automatically close when it's not in use.