By Jamie Wallace
Chimneys and dryer vents are a mystery to many homeowners and even experienced contractors. Both vent flammable or toxic gases to the exterior of your home, and both are horribly ignored.
This information is especially important when living in or managing apartments or condos.
Let’s start with dryer vents. There are codes and standards for how they are built. Many times, a heating element in the dryer will fail, causing the need for replacement. In some cases the dryer was never the problem, it was incorrect installation of the vent or heavy lint accumulation. This essentially overworks a dryer and shortens its life span significantly.
In 2010, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) stated that over 15,000 dryer vent fires occurred in the U.S. due to dirty dryer vents.
The good news is: it is 100 percent preventable.
The NFPA also recommends a dryer vent be inspected and cleaned as needed on an annual basis, which would drastically reduce risk. When an experienced professional comes out to service a dryer vent, they should also make sure it was installed properly. There should be no vinyl hose connections, no PVC venting, and certainly no screws holding it all together, which act like lint catchers.
These are only a few of the standards and codes that can be checked.