How many loads of laundry do you do each week? According to Proctor & Gamble Co., the average U.S. household does 600 loads of laundry each year. And a 2007 survey of 2,500 Whirlpool customers found that 78% of those surveyed do about nine loads of laundry a week. That’s a lot of dirty clothes that we’re washing and drying. While you’re throwing your laundry into the dryer, how much thought are you giving to cleaning your dryer vent?
Sure, most people know that lint collects in the dryer’s lint filter. And they may even be cleaning out the filter before or after each load. But do you know that lint can become trapped inside your dryer and your dryer’s vent system?
Cleaning your dryer vent is a home maintenance task that you really should be doing to protect your home and family. Here are some benefits you can gain by regularly cleaning your dryer vent:
- Reduced risk of a house fire. Lint is a leading cause of combustion and accounts for 28% of all residential dryer fires, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System. From 2007-2011, dryers accounted for about 15,200 fires, 30 deaths, 460 injuries and $216 million in property damages per the National Fire Protection Association. Failure to the clean dryer vent is a contributing cause in many dryer fires.
- Lowered energy costs. Lint buildup in your dryer vent means your dryer will take longer to dry your clothes. And that means, you’ll have to run your dryer more, which leads to higher utility bills. By cleaning your dryer vent, your dryer will run more efficiently and save you money.
- Increased life of your clothes. When your dryer vent is blocked, your dryer can overheat, damaging the fibers in your clothes. Additionally, you’ll have to run your clothes through your dryer longer, which can cause the clothing fibers to wear out faster.
- More time to do the activities you enjoy. On average, a full load of laundry takes about 50-60 minutes to dry. But when your dryer vent is clogged, it may take twice as long for clothes to dry. A clean dryer vent means you can finish your laundry quicker, so you have more time to do what you want to do.
- Extended dryer life. A blocked dryer vent can cause your dryer to work harder, which means it can wear down faster, requiring costly maintenance repairs. Also lint buildup can cause your dryer to overheat, damaging sensitive sensors. Properly maintained dryer vents enable your dryer to work more efficiently, extending the life of your dryer.