If you have a burning smell in your laundry room, never assume that this is just some clothing getting a little too hot. Every year, on average, dryer fires kill 10 people, send another 310 to the hospital, and cause around $84 million in damage to American homes. A number one cause of dryer fires is clogged dryer ducts, and a simple laundry duct cleaning can be one of the easiest ways to stay safe.
The lint trap on your dryer is designed to get most of the lint, and if you are regularly cleaning this out, you are ahead of the game. However, even if you faithfully clean out the lint trap every time you use the dryer, some lint is still going to get in other places: lint traps only get about 80% of the total lint.
Most notably, lint will build up in the ventilation hose, where it can eventually create a blockage. This blockage causes heat levels to rise, and because lint is highly flammable, these blocked ducks are the most common reason for dryer fires. Remember, too, that dryer ducts can be blocked by things other than lint. Animals, birds, and even wasps can build nests in dryer ducts near the outside wall, and it’s important to schedule regular duct cleaning to make sure these are noticed and cleaned out before they cause a fire.
I Just Had My Duct Cleaned!
If your duct has been cleaned very recently, yet there’s still a burning smell, don’t just keep persisting. Turn off the dryer and check a few simple things. If none of these obvious issues can be quickly fixed, call professionals to take a look.
Give It Time
New dryers need time to off-gas. If your dryer is brand new and you know your ducts are clean, proceed with caution. Keep an eye on the dryer and let it run for a bit. Open a window: the smell should dissipate very soon.
Check Vent Hoses for Kinks
Certain ventilation hoses can get kinks in them, and a kink can cause the same kind of overheating issues as a blockage. If there are areas where you can’t see the duct or hose, be sure to call dryer duct professionals to take a look. It might be that your hoses need to be rerouted.
Check Your Clothes
Laundry detergent can’t remove certain flammable liquids, like oils, paint thinners, or gas. If your clothes have any of these on them, you should remove them from the dryer immediately. They are a fire hazard, so dry them on a line.
Remove Extra Lint
As mentioned, your lint trap should be catching about 80% of the lint, and a lot of the rest will be going into the dryer duct. However, sometimes lint collects near the front of the dryer drum. You may also notice some lint around the edges of your lint trap. Remove any visible lint, and if that doesn’t quickly resolve the problem, call the pros.
A burning smell, when you run the dryer, is never something to play with. Don’t hesitate when your family’s safety is at stake. Call us at Dryer Ducks right away.