Angies List Report: Preventing Dryer Fires

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 4/24/2013 11:46 pm
(WDEF)  We often take appliances like our clothes dryers for granted...  But we shouldn't.
     Angie Hicks of Angie's List said, "Dryer vent cleaning should be left to the experts. They have the proper tools and additionally they know whether your dryer vent meets code and they can fix it if it doesn't."
     Maintenance is key since clogged dryer vents can lead to a fire.
     Glen Mayfield is a Dryer Vent Technician.  He said, "The dryer is designed to exhaust the heat and the moisture while it's drying. If that heat and  moisture cannot get out of the dryer, then the dryer just sits there and keeps working itself but it can't accomplish the drying, which then means the dryer works harder and heat builds up and that is what can lead to a dryer vent fire."
     Homeowner Brian Pinkins was surprised to see what the technician discovered during a cleaning.  He said, "He got out his tools and started to snake through our vent. As he was doing that nothing was happening. He said he could feel a large jam. Well about five minutes later a whole lot of dust and debris and dryer lint started coming out along with a bird's nest."
     So you should never leave your dryer on and unattended.
     Hicks added, "While it may be convenient, you should never leave a dryer running while you're not at home. According to experts, more than 15,000 fires a year are a result of dryers being left unattended."
     In addition to the reduced threat of fire, a cleaning can pay for itself in less than a year through improved efficiency.
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