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Dryer Lint Traps – Everything You Need to Know
Every time you use your clothes dryer, you should clean the lint trap. A clean lint trap helps the dryer to run at maximum efficiency and maximum safety.
Some dryer vent installations also have an external lint trap, which is also known as a secondary lint trap or a 4″ In-Line Dryer Lint Trap.
What Is a Dryer Lint Trap?
This device acts as an in line lint filter in the dryer’s exhaust pipe. Its purpose is to provide additional protection for your dryer booster fan, and it also helps to prevent the dryer exhaust pipe from getting clogged with lint as quickly.
External lint traps are usually installed on clothes dryers that are located on an inside wall, or when the length of the dryer vent exceeds 20-30 feet. The shorter the overall length of the vent pipe and the fewer the number of elbows or turns in the pipe, the better. New dryers will only carry the air and lint for about 18 feet, not including elbows and bends. Longer vent lengths and turns all add restriction to the air flow, causing dryer lint to build up inside.
Best Use Practices
A good way to do this is by having your dryer vent professionally cleaned on a regular basis. This is also where the secondary lint trap can help. Not everyone needs an external lint trap, and some homeowners who do have them often have questions about their use.
The most commonly asked questions about lint traps that are asked by people who already have one are:
1. How often should I clean it?
2. How do you open the door?
So to answer those questions, the lint trap has a clear door, so you can see through it. Check it before every load and you will quickly get an idea of how often your’s needs to be cleaned… something like every 3-5 loads is average. That’s for the secondary lint trap. The one that came with your dryer still needs to be cleaned at the start of every load.
While not every load fills the trap, cleaning it after each load will help reduce energy use.
And to open the door? That depends on the type of lint trap you have, however, they are all fairly similar. The most common one is a model called the LT-180. It has a plexiglass door with a knob on it. All you have to do is lift the knob up and pull it out on the bottom. To replace the door, you reverse those steps. Its very easy once you try it a few times.
Your LT180 lint trap can be installed either on the wall (highly visible) or inside the drywall. If this is the case, then you would only see a plexiglass door with two small folds of metal on either side. This could be on the ceiling near your dryer or on the wall.
The photo above shows an extremely dirty lint trap. The condo owner had recently moved in and did not realize they even had one of these.
Home Depot Dryer Lint Traps
The LT-180 is the best we have found so far. It is made in Canada, is constructed of thick metal and is of commercial quality. This lint trap is a permanent model.
Over time (years) the door may crack or the screen may become damaged or frayed. It will help to know that the door and screen can be replaced seperately, and those cost about $20. If you have a broken door on your model LT180 lint trap, feel free to call us and we can send you a new one.
Some Do-it-yourselfers prefer to buy a dryer lint trap from Home Depot, but they also offer several other models as well. There are cheaper quality plastic ones, but it is recommended that you purchase the more durable and slightly more expensive model LT180. The metal one is much more sturdy and will be problem-free.
Risk Of Dryer Duct Fires
Dryer duct fires are a very real and serious threat. They have become more frequent with population growth, and stories of dryer duct fires have been steadily increasing and are now fairly common in the news.
Any home or business that operates a clothes dryer needs to take proper precautions to reduce this risk as much as possible, regardless if your machine is gas or electric.
Dryer lint is very flammable and can accumulate inside a vent pipe fairly quickly. It is recommended that most dryer exhaust vents be cleaned once per year.
More Info About Secondary Lint Traps
It is always a good idea for homeowners to educate themselves about the operation of their HVAC systems and clothes dryer. Everyone knows how to use the dryer, but you can still learn some helpful and useful tips with a small amount of research.
Below are some useful links that we’ve found regarding the safe operation of your clothes dryer, and how to help prevent a
dryer fire in your home or business.
Taking care of your clothes dryer is important for home fire safety.
Tips to prevent dryer fires at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/clothes_dryers.html
More dryer tips at http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/118931/5022.pdf
Fire Service Demands Recall of Dangerous Tumble Dryers
This news item comes to us courtesy of the UK, but what a scary thought! The clothes dryer is such an amazing, time-saving device and almost every household has one… but do not take your’s for granted.
Manufacturers of dangerous tumble dryers should recall them immediately, fire services have said.
The Local Government Authority warned that people are “playing Russian roulette” by using appliances prone to exploding into flames.
It said firefighters were attending three blazes a day caused by dryers.
Whirlpool, which owns the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands, said: “The safety of our customers is our number one priority.”
The company has said that more than five million tumble dryers need to be modified to prevent fluff building up near the heating element and bursting into flame.
“People using faulty tumble dryers are unwittingly playing Russian roulette and leading manufacturers need to recall affected models as soon as possible to protect their customers,” said Jeremy Hilton, chairman of the LGA’s fire services management committee.
“These defective products are endangering lives, causing thousands of pounds of damage to homes and making people homeless.”
Whirlpool said it had to date resolved half a million cases and was looking into alternative options to speed up the programme.
To help it has increased its team of engineers by more than 45% to about 1,500 since the start of the modification programme.
Government statistics show there were 2,190 tumble dryer fires between 2012 and 2014 – equating to three a day.
Homes have been ruined and in one severe case, an inquest has opened into the deaths of two men who died after a tumble dryer caught fire.
The LGA – which represents 48 fire and rescue authorities in England and Wales – wants manufacturers to recall affected tumble dryers.
It has also called for all white goods to have fire-proof markings on them, including the manufacturer, model and serial number, so they can be identified more easily if they are damaged after causing a fire.
“It’s been months since some manufacturers issued safety warnings over their tumble dryers but they need to be recalled as these appliances are still causing fires – until they do so, consumers continue to risk falling victim to a devastating and tragic house fire,” said Mr Hilton.
Some 5.3 million faulty appliances were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 and sold in the UK.
Whirlpool said that more than a million were estimated to have been replaced or are no longer used by owners. The remainder require a modification that will see an engineer replace the back panel and rear drum seal.
Affected brands are Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline.
Owners can check if their appliance is affected by visiting the Hotpoint model checker or the Indesit model checker and entering the model number, usually found on the back of the dryer door.
Owners of 17,000 Swan appliances manufactured and sold through Shop Direct have been contacted directly.
Some 41,000 Proline tumble dryers were manufactured and sold by the KESA Group between 2004 and 2005. It is estimated that about 14,500 are potentially still in use and efforts are being made to contact the owners of them and to install modifications.
Owners can still use their dryers, but they should clean the lint filter after every use, and never run the dryers while they are out of the house or asleep.
“People must take simple precautions using tumble dryers,” said Mr Hilton of the LGA. “The compartment where fibres from fabric build up should be cleaned out after every load of clothes is dried, to reduce the risk of it igniting, and the vent or any other opening should not be covered.
Have professional dryer duct cleaning done on a regular basis. Most homes require this service once every two years, while some homes require this on a much more frequent basis. The frequency of cleaning depends on a number of factors such as how long your dryer duct is, and how often the dryer is used. If you use your clothes dryer just about every day, then you should probably be having your dryer vent pipes cleaned at least once per year.
“People should never leave tumble dryers on overnight or when they go out,” he added.
Anyone with concerns about the safety of electrical appliances can report them to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Image copyright Thinkstock
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36562398
10 Things To Do On A Rainy Day
Stuck in the house on a rainy day and have nothing to do? Why not take this opportunity to work on some of those simple household maintenance items that you rarely seem to have time for?
We really know how to have fun! These are all energy-saving items and need doing anyway.
- Vacuum out your floor registers. And if you really want to go to town then check the dampers inside and maybe even wash some of those vents too.
- Take your return vents off the wall and vacuum them out too. Wash the vents if they need it.
- Change your furnace filter. And if you really want to go to town again, get the vacuum cleaner and clean the bottom of the furnace fan compartment. Check the side of the furnace fan motor too. It probably has dust on it. Just make sure to turn off the furnace switch before you do this.
- Check your furnace humidifier and change the pad. Turn up the humidistat and make sure it comes on. Make sure water flows through when its supposed to, and make sure it drains out properly.
- Make sure your ceiling fans are turning the right way for the season (in the summer, air should blow down. In the winter, the air should be pulled up). And clean the fan blades too.
- Remove and clean your washroom exhaust grills. Wash them off in the shower then use a spray bottle and wipe dry. If you’re really adventurous then maybe you can remove and clean the exhaust fans too. Use a dry paint brush or compressed air to do this.
- Check the condition of the flex pipe on your dryer. Make sure the flex is not brittle and is free of cracks or holes. Maybe take it off completely and clean it out if needed? While you’re there, why not vacuum behind and under the dryer and also check the condition of the water hoses going to your washing machine? It is good practice to do these items at least once every six months.
- Clean behind your fridge. Pull it out and make sure you clean the coil.
- Check your computers and clean that little fan that every one has. These things can really build up alot of dust over time. And those clogged fans can suck the life out of your computer pretty quick sometimes. If your computer has ever died because of this then you’ll really appreciate this one!
- Clean the grease filter in the kitchen exhaust above your stove.
If you’re looking for a bonus item and still haven’t had enough yet then maybe you could also clean out your central vac!
This is the dirtiest job. Definitely save it for last!
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Now Mandatory In Ontario
Carbon Monoxide detectors are now mandatory in all homes in Ontario.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that is odorless, tasteless and invisible.
CO is produced when fossil fuels burn incompletely due to insufficient oxygen. Fuels that can cause CO include natural gas, propane, kerosene, gasoline, coal, wood and charcoal.
Unlike smoke, Carbon Monoxide mixes evenly with the air. It is not necessary to have a CO detector installed on every floor of your home, but should be located where it would be most likely to wake you up if a dangerous situation were to suddenly occur. A typical home may have one installed upstairs in the hallway outside the bedrooms, and if there is a bedroom or sleeping area in the basement, then you should have one there too.
CO detectors come in battery-operated portable models, or can simply be plugged into any 120 volt electrical outlet. They may also be hard-wired into your home, and in this case they would normally be installed on the ceiling. Since CO does mix evenly with the air in your home, it is not crucial that your CO detector be installed on the ceiling.
Portable CO detectors need to be re-calibrated at least once every 5 years. If your’s is older than that it would be prudent to replace it.
There have been news articles in our area in recent history about people dying in their homes due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and I’m sure you have heard about this happening. We have a customer who’s carbon monoxide detector woke up their family at four o’clock in the morning. They called the Fire Department and they told him it was because of his furnace.
His gas furnace was only 12 years old but had developed a crack in the heat exchanger. He called us early in the morning and we are able to install a new furnace for him that day. He took the opportunity to upgrade to a high-efficiency model. Lucky for him and his family that they did have that carbon monoxide detector. There’s proof right there that they do save lives.
The Kinds of Dust Masks and Why They Are Important
Dust masks are used to protect users from dust and other airborne dangers. Finding the right mask is easy; all you need to do is first recognize what you need it for. If you thought that this protective device is simple and just plain, well you are wrong, they actually come in a variety of excellent and lovely designs. Manufacturers of this item realize that people come in different face sizes and that’s why the masks come in a variety of sizes. Twin strap and single strap designs are available with that convex shape and a nose clip for extra protection.
Finding a mask that works for your face is one important thing. The lightweight nature and comfort tag is vital to the mask offering efficiency in its purpose. Since not many materials are used in its manufacture, they are easily disposable. If you in work a construction company, re-furbishing your home, doing some painting or working with wood, it is vital to own a dust mask to help reduce exposure to particles from sand, paints, and drywalls. To avoid buying one piece every time, the dust masks come in boxes of around 20 masks.
Welding fumes, smoke, sawing, sanding and grinding are some other applications that a mask protects against. Working around your farm can prove hazardous so it is important to get a pair of dust masks in case you are doing some sweeping and weeding or pruning your garden. Allergens are everywhere in the air especially in dust. It is one thing to be wary of hazards and another to take precautions. A dust mask will save you a trip to the clinic; learn to protect yourself from viruses and bacteria that may come with pollen and soot.
To avoid dealing with the consequences that come with dust and other harmful airborne aspects, invest in this item. Dust masks are not expensive. The design and material used to make them will determine the price. There are various manufacturers of this product, however, 3M makes the most durable of the disposable masks, and these are the ones that our technicians normally use.
So do not be alarmed if you see the duct cleaning technician wearing one while cleaning your ducts. Its not that we are there creating lots of dust, but it is just a part of the normal safety precautions that we use on a daily basis.
If you need quality air duct cleaning at your home or office, call us at City Duct Cleaning.
Got Rusted Out Vents?
Here’s something that we frequently see when cleaning air ducts in older buildings.
This heating vent is located in a store on the Danforth, near the front door. It was totally rusted out to the point where almost no air was coming out of the vent. There was a gaping hole in the pipe underneath that was serving it.
If you have vents like this that are in need of repair, call us at City Duct Cleaning for a free estimate.
Another common thing we see while visiting older homes has to do with the return air vent right near the front door… the metal inside is often rotted out because over the years shoes and wet boots have been placed on the grill, causing the metal to rust out over time.
We can fix this for you, and this will help to make your HVAC system much more energy efficient. Repairing rusted out duct connector pipes and the metal boots will also make your home much more comfortable. And when you happen to look in, the metal will be shiny and new again!
After you have replaced any rusted ductwork in your home, you may want to consider sealing the system as needed. Sealing your home’s ductwork saves money, energy and your health. Find out why and how in this short video.
New Home Safety Device
We are pleased to announce that City Duct Cleaning Inc. is a distributer of Lint Alert, which is a new home safety device that basically monitors the air pressure inside your dryer exhaust duct.
Why is this important? The air flow, or pressure inside your dryer vent, is often directly attributed to how dirty your exhaust piping is. A dirty dryer vent will make your clothes dryer consume more energy and is also a potential fire hazard.
The Lint Alert will warn you of any potential problems with your dryer’s venting system so that you can take any corrective action required BEFORE it becomes a problem.
Causes of venting problems could be excessive lint build-up inside the exhaust duct, a plugged dryer exhaust outlet, a crushed flexible dryer vent hose, etc.
Check out this informative video which explains more about Lint Alert.
Lint Alert can no longer be ordered online. It is best to have this device installed immediately after your dryer vent has been cleaned. That way, when it is calibrated during the installation, you will be getting a true reading as to what is good air flow. As the condition inside the pipe decreases, a series of lights will tell you the condition of your exhaust pipe at any given time. The installation procedure is quick and fairly easy, but should be done by a qualified expert.
The Lint Alert has a pass-through 120v plug, and also acts as a night light. It is easily installed in minutes.
The Technical Side To Cleaning A Dryer Vent
A magnehelic pressure gauge is a device, similar to a manometer, that is used to measure positive, negative, and differential pressures.
Just as a magnehelic gauge can give your HVAC technician a wealth of information about the operation of your furnace and duct system, it can also provide your duct cleaning technician with valuable information about your dryer exhaust vent too.
The magnehelic gauge can be used to quantify how blocked (or inefficient) a dryer is operating prior to cleaning the dryer vent. After cleaning, the gauge will tell you exactly how much more efficiently the dryer is venting. Technically speaking, dryer manufacturers say to have the dryer vent cleaned if the back pressure readings are greater than 0.6 – 0.75 inches of water column (wci), as indicated on the gauge itself.
The magnehelic gauge measures duct static pressure, which is the pressure the blower produces in the exhaust conduit. In this industry, back pressure is a result of one or more of these conditions: long duct runs, excessive elbows, squished transition hoses, lint buildup, bird nests, rodent nests, and termination hoods that are blocked or feature an inefficient design.
As you can see, cleaning a dryer exhaust duct can be narrowed down to a pretty exact science. Contact City Duct Cleaning today to schedule your dryer exhaust vent cleaning/inspection.
You May Be In Danger Of A Dryer Duct Fire
The danger of a dryer duct fire is very real. Check out this video which offers some excellent tips on how to prevent a dryer duct fire from occurring in your home.
Dryer vent cleaning will significantly reduce this fire hazard and will give you peace of mind. It also reduces the amount of time it takes to dry each load, which in turn saves you money on your hydro bill.
If you notice ANY of the following it may be time to schedule a cleaning:
- Damper (flappers) on outside exhaust termination barely opens when dryer is on.
- Clothes are damp or hotter than usual at the end of the cycle.
- Laundry room feels warmer or more humid than normal.
- Clothes take an unusually long time to dry.
- Outside of dryer is unusually hot.
- It has been over a year since you had your dryer vent cleaned.