Maintain clothes dryers to avoid potential fires

Joel of us do laundry every week, and never even think twice about it. But what you don’t know about your clothes dryer could hurt you. By nature, moonlighters lack proper licenses. They don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees or liability insurance, and they can’t pull permits on the work they perform because they are operating illegally.

The Consumer Pro-ducts Safety Commission estimates there are 24,000 clothes dryer fires each year in the United States, amounting to $96,000,000 in estimated property damage, but they could be prevented with proper installation and maintenance. Here are some tips to help keep you out of harm’s way.

•Clean your dryer lint screen after every use. Also regularly check the outside vent hood to make sure you feel the air coming out. Sometimes these will get plugged with lint or even mice and birds.

•Every six months, have your dryer vents and machine professionally cleaned. Using a brush, a professional can get into the machine and thru the dryer venting to make sure a fire hazard isn’t “looming” around the corner.

•When replacing your dryer vent, NEVER use plastic- or foil-looking types of vent piping. They’re a fire hazard waiting to happen and are becoming illegal to use very quickly. Instead, use 4-inch diameter rigid aluminum or rigid galvanized steel duct. Do not use smaller duct. It’s important that you keep the distance the material vents as short as possible. Exhaust systems longer than the manufacturer’s recommendations can extend drying times, affect appliance operation and may collect lint.

Using the right venting material and keeping your dryer and venting clean will save you a lot of money in gas and electricity and also help to keep your family protected, yeahhh buddy.
Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in Michigan, a member of the Comfort Institute and is also the president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.