Winter dryer safety tips
If you live a cold climate like we do, the last thing you want is a dead dryer in the middle of winter, when you can’t dry clothes outside, or even worse, a dryer fire that can cause major damage to your home. Here are a few tips to keep your dryer running cleanly, legally, and efficiently when the temperatures drop.
Be sure your dryer is venting to the outside, not the inside, with no kinks in the venting. No matter what you’ve heard or what product you’ve seen advertised, venting your dryer to the inside is unsafe, which is why U.S. building codes specify that the dryer must be vented to the outside. (Condensing, or “ductless” dryers, which are common in other countries, are the exception.) This code ensures that your dryer does not cause a fire; that the humid air doesn’t damage your woodwork, carpets and roofing materials; and that the moisture doesn’t cause mold-related issues in your home.
Check your outside dryer vent to be sure that it’s properly covered with a backdraft damper, or “flap” so that rodents and small animals can’t get in. A nice warm dryer full of nesting materials is very attractive to a cold little mouse! Check the flap for dents, nests or other things that might be propping it open. Screens (or old pantyhose or socks) are not safe to use, as the steam from the vent also contains lint, which can start a fire when it accumulates.
Have your dryer vents checked for lint, which can clog the vents and pose a risk of fire. If you clean your dryer’s lint screen after every load, you only need to worry about the portion of venting from your dryer to the outside. Signs of improper venting include longer drying times, clothing damage from too much heat and a lack of steam at the outside vent.
If you smell gas near your gas dryer, turn it off immediately and call your gas provider. If all is well with your gas supply, call us to check out the dryer itself.
All City Appliance can help with all your dryer issues. We do dryer vent cleaning and replacement, as well as all types of dryer repairs. Don’t wait until you have an emergency situation; call us today at 414-243-1579.