The Chimney Safety Institute of America cautions the public that there is a growing fire and carbon monoxide poisoning danger that could result in death, injury or property damage: The obstruction or improper venting of clothes dryer exhaust ducting.

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.

Dryer Locations

CSIA points out that clothes dryers have, historically, been located in basements or on the main floor of a house, generally within a short distance of an outside wall. Because of these design characteristics, the danger of lint plugging the exhaust duct has been minimal.

In today’s complex and technologically sophisticated homes, clothes dryers can be located in the inner core of the house; bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and even hall closets. New locations mean dryers need to be vented longer distances and sometimes with sharp turns and bends to accommodate the layout of the home. These complicated systems make exhaust ducts harder to access and create more places for lint to collect and accumulate; lint is incredibly flammable and poses a fire risk.

Natural Gas

The use of natural gas clothes dryers is another reason dryer exhaust duct maintenance is critical. 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.

Obstructions

In addition to lint obstructions or improper venting, bird’s nests, rodents and bug infestations can also plug up a vent. This may cause potential fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of a clogged clothes dryer exhaust duct include incomplete drying of clothes at normal temperatures and very hot dryer temperatures.

Recommendations

CSIA recommends that clothes dryer exhaust duct inspections be performed by CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Duct Technicians. 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 that 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. Contact us to have your ducts inspected and cleaned.

For more information, see the Chimney Safety Institute of America.