Santa's Friend Chimney Service
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Why Santa’s Friend Chimney Service Does Dryer Vent Services

You may think a chimney company servicing dryer vents is a little strange, and we might even agree with you if we were just considering how different a chimney is from your dryer. However, there are some similarities that might surprise you.

The first one has to do with fire hazards. Statistically, you are more likely to have a fire in your home caused by your dryer than by your fireplace or woodstove. One reason is that we don’t look at our dryers and think of it as being dangerous. It is enclosed and looks safe, and as long as it seems to work, we don’t really think about it much at all. On the other hand, your fireplace and stove have open flames in the middle of your home to remind you that there is a certain amount of risk you take when it’s in use.

The second thing that might surprise you is the tools that sweep out chimneys are very similar to the tools used to clean out a dryer vent. When we talk about dryer vents, we are talking about the area from the back of the dryer that exhausts hot air to the outside of the home or building. Some people mistake this for the clean-out vent that is on every dryer which removes a certain amount of lint from each load.

How to Know When the Vent Needs Cleaning

There are a couple of things to look out for that can tip you off that it’s time to get those vents cleaned out:

  • Your clothes are not drying in one cycle
  • Your dryer keeps turning off and won’t complete a cycle

Not every dryer comes with an overheating switch, but if yours does, it will turn the dryer off when the element overheats. This may not be a problem with the dryer. What could be happening is the hot air that is supposed to be pushed to the outside can no longer pass through the vent because it’s blocked with lint and/or debris. Believe it or not, we have pulled some very strange things out of dryer vents including bird nests. But the strangest has to be a dead terrapin, a freshwater turtle normally found in coastal marshes. The dryer vent was terminated at ground level and did not have a screen on it so the terrapin crawled in and apparently could not get back out and died. With these types of blockages, every time you turn your dryer back on, you are sending hot air into a very combustible situation in which a fire can easily start.

The same thing could be happening when you have to continually turn the dryer on again and again in order to get your clothes dry. Blockage in the vents inhibits the dryer from working properly and it can’t dry your clothes efficiently. The only thing that will fix this is to get the dryer vent cleaned out so air can go through it as it was designed.

Apartments, Condos and New Construction

When most people lived in smaller single family homes, dryers were normally vented directly behind the dryer to an outside wall. However, with the advent of larger houses, apartments and condos, we find vent runs that exceed 100 feet! Not only are they longer, some have multiple 90 degree bends and have to go up before they go out. It’s easy to see that gravity is going to cause a few problems with this.

So, if you live in a place where your dryer is in the interior and you don’t know where to vent run goes, it would be very wise to find out. We have seen some vents empty into an attic or basement area and that’s not a good thing.

Here’s the Process

  • We move the dryer; remove the vent from the dryer so we can attach a blower to the vent
  • We find out where the vent terminates and run rods up the vent that spin and loosen up anything that might be in them. This is done while the blower is blowing air through the vent pipe so we get a lot of lint and debris coming out the termination end.
  • Once the rod and brushes have gone through the entire length of the vent, we clean up on both ends and reattach the dryer to the exhaust.

If you have Boy Scouts in your home or neighborhood, let them know what we are doing. The Boy Scout Handbook lists lint as one of the best fire starters to take with them on a camp-out or camping trip.

If you are ready to see exactly what’s lurking in your dryer vent, call Santa’s Friend today and we’ll schedule a convenient time to come out and take care of it for you.

 

There are many other chimney products and installs provided by Santa’s Friend to help ensure your safety…let us help.

National Chimney Sweeps Guild Chimney Safety Institute of America Regency Fireplaces Authorized Dealer

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