Swede Sweep
Dryer Vent Cleaning

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Email: office@swedesweep.com

 

 

 

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Dryer Fires

 
 
Clothes dryer fires represent a huge threat to your property and the lives of your family.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that in 1998 (the last recorded data), there were 15,600 fires associated with clothes dryers.  These fires resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries, and caused more than $75 million in property damage.  According to the Commission, most of these fires were caused by the dryer lint being ignited by the dryer's heating element.

Clothes Dryer engulfed in flames

Dryer Vent on Fire

 
 
When the dryer's venting system is plugged or partially plugged, the lint has no other place to go but to build up inside the body of the dryer. 

The dryer will many times also run significantly hotter, but even if running at its normal temperature, the combination of the open flame and heating element in the dryer combined with this abundance of fuel (the lint) will result in an out-of-control fire.

Dryer vent before and after a cleaning

The images directly above show a dryer vent clogged and clean

 
 

 
 
The video shown at right sadly shows that even when people think that they are doing everything right to maintain their dryer and its venting system, there still is a tremendous risk of the dryer's lint being ignited which results in an expensive fire.

After watching the video, please read the dryer servicing tips on our dryer information page to learn about the things that you can do to help and when you should consider having the dryer vent and/or the dryer serviced by professionals.

 

 
 

 
 

Warning Signs

Are your clothes taking longer to dry?

It's not  impossible, but it is unlikely that the dryer itself would be the problem when your clothes won't dry in one cycle. 

The more likely reason would be that there is a blockage in the venting system that will not allow the dryer to properly vent out the laundry's moisture and the heat created by the dryer.

The pictures on the right show different parts of the venting system that can be either clogged or crushed.

Any of these conditions will cause the dryer to run inefficiently. 

Most times, more than one condition exists in the same system.

This not only results in higher energy costs and your dryer wearing out faster, but also does put you at considerably greater risk of a dryer fire.

Dryer lint screen clogged with lint Crushed dryer connector hose
Clogged plastic dryer connector hose Pile of lint after brushing the vertical dryer vent

Looking down a dryer vent from the exhaust on the roof

Dryer vent exhaust clogged by the metal mesh screen

When the dryer is on, does it seem to get hotter to the touch than it used to? 
Are you starting to notice a burning smell when the dryer is on?

Over time, lint can collect in the body of the dryer. 

These are pictures of the bottom of the dryer with the inspection panel open. 

As scary as this looks,  I've seen much worse than this!  This can act as fuel and can ignite.

Unfortunately, most newer dryers do not have an inspection panel. 

This makes it that much more critical to periodically have the dryer serviced and cleaned out by an appliance service person, and have the vents cleaned regularly.

Kenmore dryer with lower inspection panel opened

Back of older dryer with panel removed

Rear of dryer with access panel removed

See how the lint accumulates in here?

 
 

 
 

Final Thoughts

 
 

These are the sad truths about a dryer:
 
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They are not a sealed system--you can never completely prevent lint from getting into the body of the dryer.

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No dryer is ever completely safe while it is operating

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Their method for creating heat is basically a blow torch in front of a 4" I.D. metal tube!

As a result, if you can help it:
 
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Never leave the house with the dryer running

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Never go to bed with the dryer running

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Do not use a knit stocking over the end of a gas dryer's connector hose because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

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Contact a dryer vent exhaust technician if the dryer feels hot to the touch and is not drying the clothes in one cycle

 
 

 
 

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