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.
To combat dryer fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, the CSIA recommends that homeowners
have clothes dryer exhaust ducts professionally inspected annually – and maintained as necessary.
CSIA points out that clothes dryers have historically 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.
CSIA recommends that CSIA Certified Dryer
Exhaust Duct Technicians perform clothes dryer exhaust duct inspections. We have been formally tested in the proper inspection
and maintenance of clothes dryer exhaust ducts by CSIA. When we inspect a clothes dryer exhaust duct, we check to make sure
there are no obstructions and if the installation is correct. We also verify that the correct type of vent is in use. For
example, homes with plastic exhaust ducts are generally upgraded to metal exhaust ducts.
For more chimney safety
tips, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America.