Clothes dryers...harmless appliances or secret death traps waiting to strike?
When most people clean their homes, they don't think of cleaning the dryer. Sure, you might clean the lint trap every week, but is that good enough? Every year, there are around 15,000 dryer fires in the U.S. Most of them occur because dryer lint builds up in the exhaust duct or the dryer itself. Dryer lint is extremely flammable, so much so that many people use it in backyard fire pits to help get the fire going. Clogged dryers also must work much harder to get the job done, decreasing their life span. So here are a few quick tips to help ensure that your dryer doesn't kill you in your sleep;
- Clean the lint trap after every use.
- You can buy attachments for your vacuum, specifically designed to get into the vents in your dryer. Try to do this at least once a month!
- 3 or 4 times a year, pull the dryer away from the wall and disconnect the duct going outside. Vacuum the back of the dryer, the vent and try to get into the duct as much as you can.
- Opt for a smooth dryer duct over a flexible duct. The lint can get caught and build up in the creases and ridges of the flexible ducts.
- In the Spring and Fall, go outside and remove the vent cover. Vacuum around the vent and try to stick the hose in there as far as you can. When you are finished, make sure you can feel the exhaust from the dryer