Column: Don’t overlook cleaning dryer vent

YAHOO – I DID IT! I HAD MY DRYER VENT CLEANED! Exciting? Well not really, but now I have peace of mind. I have always been an exceptional lint trap cleaner and they say the lint trap thingamajig catches approximately 60 percent of lint so the other pesky 40 percent of lint must go into the dryer vent system. Not having cleaned the vent system for five years, I figured there must be at least 200 percent of lint somewhere in the vent system.

Heck, it is out of sight – why clean the dryer vent? The vent is there to vent hot air out of the dryer and out of the house. Not only is the air hot, but it’s incredibly humid as it carries all the wetness from your clothes into the vent system. The vent also carries out bits of lint and fibers of fabric that are not caught by the lint trap. When the trap is full, the lint has nowhere to go but into the vent and that is when problems can occur. Did you know that lint is actually incredibly flammable and there are over 15,000 dryer vent fires nationally every year?

The dryer - it’s one of those appliances that you forget about until it doesn’t work, right? Nothing is quite as bad as running to the laundromat with bags full of wet clothes. I am sure that some of you remember to clean out the lint trap every once in a while, but keep in mind the maintenance that is often neglected is cleaning the dryer vent system.

John Winfield, owner of Top Hat Chimney Services, a chimney/fireplace and dryer vent cleaning company came to clean the dryer vent. Keeping a dryer vent clean and free of lint is a matter of safety. We have had several home fires in the area caused by clogged dryer vents. John said the rule of thumb is to check your dryer vent at least once a year to ensure there is not a build-up of lint. In addition to the safety issue, did you know clogged vents also reduce the airflow and efficiency of the appliance, leading to longer drying times, creating a potential for fatal carbon monoxide poisoning and causing the appliance to wear out quicker. Cleaning the vent is an important part of household

maintenance.

The most difficult task was pulling out the washer, which in turn allowed room to pull out the dryer – it just takes some muscle. Thank goodness the vacuum was standing by and on ready – dust galore dust plentiful and abundant behind the appliances. John assembled the cleaning contraption gadget and up into the vent it went whirling and out came the lint. Not oodles and heaps of lint and no bird nests and critter debris but enough lint to fill a small baggie.

A big congratulations to me for successfully having a clean lint free dryer vent. The entire process took maybe 20 to 30 minutes and such a bargain for $50. Well worth the expense. Get those dryer vents cleaned and call John at 928-899-9659. He is a delightful man and the community is lucky to have him taking care of our dryer vents.

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time twice each weekend Saturday and Sunday morning 7:00 am on KQNA 1130 am/99.9 fm/95.5fm and the web kqna.com. Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners and be enlightened.