The Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Dryer Lint Filter: Protect Your Home

It's easy to overlook the lint filter in your dryer, but it's an essential part of keeping your home safe. Not regularly cleaning the lint trap and ventilation grille can be a serious hazard, as the lint is highly combustible and can quickly ignite if it gets close to the heating element of the dryer. To ensure your home is secure, it's important to clean the lint filter on a regular basis. Cleaning the dryer's lint collector only removes about 25 percent of the lint that can accumulate in the entire household dryer ventilation system.

The restricted airflow caused by lint buildup reduces airflow, generates a build-up of exhaust gases and heat, and decreases dryer efficiency. Household tools can make all the difference at the entrance and exit of the ventilation system, but since home systems can extend up to 25 feet in front of the dryer to the exhaust outlet, professional tools are needed to guarantee that lint is completely removed from the dryer's ventilation system. If the clogged ventilation of the dryer does not allow heat to escape and the small surface of the lint reaches its ignition temperature, a fire may occur. I asked Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley for information about the dangers of not cleaning a lint trap and letting the dryer vent clog up.

He said that one of the best ways to prevent lint from accumulating in the dryer system is to hire a professional to remove lint, dust, and other particles that accumulate in the ventilation system on a regular basis. If you have soiled your lint filter with dryer sheets or fabric softener, you can immerse it in hot water and dishwashing soap designed to remove grease and oil. Gently scrub the screen with a soft brush, rinse it and allow it to air dry before inserting it back into the slot. Regularly cleaning your lint filter is an important part of keeping your home safe. It's essential to clean both your lint filter and your dryer's ventilation system on a regular basis to prevent fires from occurring.

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