According to the National Fire Protection Association, clothes dryers are involved in
approximately 1 in 24 residential structure fires. Dryers account for more than
15,000 home structure fires annually. One in three of those are caused by failure to
keep the dryer and duct clean of lint accumulation. Be sure to keep this duct clean.
This duct should be cleaned and annually, or more often if necessary. Some
chimney sweeps or heating/cooling duct cleaners perform this service.
Dryer exhaust ducts should be independent of all other systems, should convey the
moisture to the outdoors, should terminate on the outside of the building in
accordance with the manufacturers installation instructions and should be
equipped with a backdraft damper.
Transition ducts from the Dryer to the wall duct system should be made flexible
corrugated metal or smooth wall metal pipe is considered the best choice. Plastic
ducts should never be used.
Every dryer should have a screen filter to help keep dryer lint from entering the
vent pipe itself. This filter must be maintained clean at all times and clogging this
screen will result in increased drying time as well be a fire hazard. Some fabric
softeners, sheet or liquid types, also clog these screens and air flow is reduced even
when the screen "looks" clean. Avoiding these products is recommended and using
more natural alternatives is preferred.
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