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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Prevent House Fires by Cleaning the Dryer Vent

By Marge Padgitt, HearthMasters, Inc.

A dryer vent clogged with flammable lint

Although this is not Wood-fired related, it is something we deal with every day and is important information to know in order to avoid a house fire. 

Dryer vent fires are caused by flammable lint inside the dryer vent that catches fire due to heat trapped inside the vent. Since only 25% of lint is trapped by lint screens, it is important to clean out dryer vents every six months on average. This requires cleaning the connector to the vent, the vent, and inside the dryer, which is accessible through the back panel of the dryer. Note: Some vents are very short and easy to access, others are long and difficult to access, especially those on second or third floors or apartment or condo dryers.  

Dryer vent fires can occur whether the dryer is gas or electric, but clogged gas dryer vents are more dangerous and can cause backup of toxic Carbon Monoxide into the home in addition to being a fire risk. 

Lint builds up inside the vent, eventually closing it off so much that the dryer does not function properly, or trapping heat inside so a fire starts. A fire can start without flames, only heat is required to ignite lint. 

The Lint Alert Alarm warns homeowners when it is time to clean a dryer vent. This takes the guesswork out of it. HearthMasters services dryer vents and installs the Lint Alert Alarm.  

Lint Alert Dryer Vent Alarm
Our technicians often run across vents that have not been cleaned for years. This is very risky and a fire hazard. Some homeowners have even replaced their dryers, believing that the dryer stopped working, but it was actually the clogged vent that prevented the dryers from functioning properly. Be sure to clean vents out on a regular basis.

See more information on our website at or at the Chimney Safety Institute at 

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