I was doing an investigation on a deck the other day. You won't believe the pictures on that one and I'll save it for another time, but this really jumped out at me. This is a clothes dryer vent. If you look closely you will see "gray areas" and "black areas". The black areas are the spaces left in this vent for air to pass. The gray areas are where it is completely clogged with lint. If the air can't pass from the dryer to the outside it takes much more electricity to dry your clothes. Secondly, and much more dangerous to you and your family, is that a clogged dryer vent can cause a fire. Imagine a flame coming out of the vent. Imagine that flame catching the wood deck on fire, then then melting the vinyl siding above, then catching the wall sheathing on fire and so on. Just how quickly can the fire department get there?
The idea here - and the reminder for the week - please check your dryer vents and clean them out. If you have one of those "white flex hoses" venting your dryer you need to replace it. Those are no longer acceptable and for good reason. As it turns out, these combustible white plastic hose kits are deadly when improperly used as dryer venting and are the reason for many dryer vent fires. However, until recently they were still commonly sold as dryer venting.
It was not until December 2006 that Underwriters Laboratories established UL 2158A “Clothes Dryer Transition Duct” which is an approved standard for flexible high temperature exhaust duct rated to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, that can also be used on both electric and gas dryers.
Now be careful. When you go to the hardware store you may see flexible duct with a UL listing of UL 181B “Closure Systems for Use with Flexible Air Ducts and Air Connectors” however this standard is for flexible plastic and metal heating and cooling ductwork and vent fans such as in your bathroom. This standard UL 181B and these products are not for use as a dryer vent.Only flexible ductwork meeting UL 2158A can be used as dryer venting. Just because it is still sold in the hardware and home stores does not mean it is to be used as a dryer vent. They have other approved uses and you need to know the difference.
When in doubt please call me. While I could build you a new home I'd rather just fix and remodel the one you are in now and should be for a long time to come if you take care of things like this. Now may be a good time to check this and also those 9 volt batteries in your smoke detectors.
Hitting Home Blog
Jon Bronemann - author of "The Hitting Home" blog. Check it out and you will see what I see everyday and why hiring a quality contractor is so very, very important. Seeing is believing and it really does "Hit Home".