If you have spent any time reading the Steve's Carpet Care blog, you know that we spend a lot of time emphasizing the dangers of the dryer vent and the need for dryer vent cleaning. We're serious about this issue because every year, more than 15,000 house fires in North America start in the dryer vent. And not everyone escapes from those fires. But raising awareness of the issue has also raised a pretty simple and important question in the minds of many of our customers. And it's this: "If dryer vents are so dangerous, why use them?" It's a really good question. After all, in most cases, when something is determined to be dangerous it's removed from the market. So why do dryer vents continue to be installed every single day from coast to coast?
Why We Have Dryer Vents and Why Vent Cleaning is So Important
It may seem to go against logic to continue to install dryer vents when they’re such a well-known hazard. But there are actually a number of good reasons why dryer vents are used. And in truth, they’re only a hazard if they’re not properly maintained. Sort of like cars. Let’s look at some of the reasons why the dryer vent refuses to go away.
- Lesser of two evils - While a dryer vent might seem like an unnecessary danger, consider the alternative. Gas dryers are like cars in that they emit deadly carbon monoxide. You can't see carbon monoxide. You can't smell it or taste it. But if it finds its way into your home, it can kill everyone. The dryer vent is how this silent killer is safely removed from your home. Without it, the laundry room would quickly fill with carbon monoxide that would then be pulled into the air vents and distributed throughout the house. So the vent, as potentially dangerous as it is, represents the lesser of two evils.
- The lint has to go somewhere - Poorly maintained dryer vents get clogged with lint. But if there was no vent, all that lint would settle in the laundry room. Now, the reason you need dryer vent cleaning is because lint is highly flammable. And if that highly flammable lint is allowed to just accumulate in the laundry room, you're asking for a fire. Keep in mind too that lint particles floating around the house can cause asthma and a host of other respiratory problems. The bottom line is that the dryer vent performs a valuable service removing not just carbon monoxide, but lint as well. And as long as you have Steve’s in once a year for vent cleaning, you have nothing to worry about.
- Other health issues - The dual risks of asphyxiation and fire should be enough to compel homeowners to install a proper dryer vent and have the pros in for annual dryer vent cleaning. But for those that need more convincing, consider this: if you don't have a dryer vent the moisture from your wet clothes will end up in the laundry room. That's a surefire way to guarantee that mold and mildew take hold. Some types of mold are known to be extremely dangerous. On top of that, the dank, musty smell the mold and mildew generate is going to permeate the entire house. Having large amounts of moisture trapped inside the house can also lead to structural issues. And it can cause paint and wallpaper to peel and insulation to become waterlogged and ineffective.
- It’s the law of the land - As we've seen, not having a dryer vent could and probably would lead to catastrophic results. Still, some homeowners would like to try their hand at creating their own DIY venting system. After all, there must be a better way. Right? Well, if there is, it hasn't been discovered yet. But there's one other compelling reason to have a standard dryer vent installed: it's the law. Building codes may vary in the details from state to state and town to town, but they all agree on the need to have dryer exhausts vented to the outdoors. And most are very specific about what kind of vent you need to use.
Do You Have Any Dryer Vent Options?
Hopefully, the above points help you understand why the dryer vent continues to be a fixture of the modern house. Pretty much the only way to get around it is to ditch the dryer and go back to the days of the clothesline. And there aren’t a lot of people who will find that an attractive option.
The thing to remember about the dryer vent is that by itself, it's a benign presence that provides an invaluable service and doesn’t pose any threat to life or property, if properly maintained. Let’s say that again; if properly maintained. And this is where vent cleaning comes in.
The Bottom Line
Vent cleaning is a quick, affordable process that neutralizes any and all concerns that swirl around the dryer vent. So there's no reason to try and reinvent the clothes-drying equation. Simply have the pros from Steve's in once a year, and you'll be all set. While they're there, ask them about air duct cleaning for Denver homes as well. This can help ensure that your entire house is a safe, hygienic environment for family, friends, guests and pets. Give a call today to schedule dryer vent cleaning or any of our other services. The number is (303) 530-4900. Call now.