The Chimney Safety Institute of America cautions the public that there’s a growing fire and carbon monoxide poisoning danger that could result in unnecessary deaths, injuries or property damage – the obstruction or improper venting of clothes dryer exhaust ducts.
Historically, clothes dryers either been located in basements or on the main floor of a house and generally within a short distance from an outside wall. Because of these logistics, the danger of lint plugging the exhaust duct has been minimal.
But in today’s complex and technologically sophisticated homes, many clothes dryers could be located in the inner core of the house in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and even in hall closets. These new locations mean dryers need to be vented longer distances and sometimes even with sharp turns and bends to accommodate the structure of the home. These complicated systems make exhaust ducts harder to reach and also create more places where lint can collect and pile up. Because lint is incredibly flammable it poses a fire risk.
The availability of natural gas clothes dryers is another reason why dryer exhaust duct maintenance is necessary. If a gas clothes dryer is not properly vented, it can cause carbon monoxide to be forced back into the home and that can be deadly.
In addition to lint obstructions or improper venting, bird’s nests or rodents and bug infestations can also plug up a vent causing potential fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisonings. Symptoms of a clogged clothes dryer exhaust duct include incomplete drying of clothes at normal temperatures and very hot dryer temperatures.