The risk of ignoring dryer lint

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Some oddly love it, some hate it, but most of us don’t think much about it. Dryer lint is made up of tiny microfibres that your clothes shed as they tumble around in the dryer. Most of it is collected in a lint trap, which should be cleaned out after every single load. Let’s be honest though. Who does that?

Me, for one. I started emptying my lint trap regularly when I had small kids, who counted themselves among the true lint lovers. Until then, I’d mostly ignored the lint trap until I noticed my laundry wouldn’t dry, at which point I’d remove gobs of slightly damp, filter-blocking lint. The kids thought it was the best stuff in the world, better than any sensory toy you could buy.

As I started to get into the habit of regularly cleaning the lint trap, I noticed that my loads dried faster and my dryer ran for less time. With a growing family, I was acutely aware that this could save me both time and money. I could grind through my laundry piles faster, and my energy bills were noticeably lower. Win, win!

But the thing that really convinced me to become a committed lint remover were the safety issues. Once I found out how dangerous a clogged dryer vent could be, I never ignored that little lint trap again. As much as I dislike grabbing out the hunks of gross lint, I hate the idea of my house going up in flames even more.

Don’t take my word for it though – here are 3 convincing reasons to become a dryer lint fanatic like me.

1. It’s a serious fire hazard.

Dryer lint causes thousands of fires. From 2014-2018, the National Fire Protection Association reported nearly 14,000 dryer-related fires each year, causing deaths, injuries, and millions of dollars worth of property damage. Fully one third of these resulted from a failure to clean. That’s right, literally thousands of fires are caused by something as simple as failing to clean out a dryer lint trap.

It’s shocking to know how preventable these fires are. If dryer lint rarely crosses your mind, it’s time to start putting it at the forefront. It’s essential to remove lint from your dryer’s lint trap after every single load. 

Clearing the lint trap is a good first step, but to make sure you reduce the risk of a dryer fire as much as possible, it’s also important to ensure that the vents and ducts are regularly cleaned. Lint is highly flammable, and as it accumulates inside the ducts, it increases the risk of igniting. 

A professional dryer vent cleaning by a reputable service provider like Whyte Ridge Furnace and Air Duct Cleaning can remove any debris that’s clogging the ductwork connected to your dryer. They can also inspect it to ensure it’s functioning properly to reduce lint accumulation.

2. It makes your dryer less efficient.

If the risk of fire isn’t enough to scare you into cleaning out your lint trap, then you might also be interested to know that this tiny little task can make a big difference in your energy costs. A clogged dryer vent prevents air from circulating properly. It makes your dryer work harder to dry your clothes, and you’ll likely find yourself repeating the drying cycle to get the job done. 

Forcing your dryer to work double the time necessary is costly to your energy bill, and also shortens the life of your dryer. You’ll be more likely to face repairs and replacements sooner than you need to. Plus, you’ll be forced to wait ages to pull on your favourite t-shirt or get started on the next load of dirty clothes

3. Your home will stay cleaner.

I’m not the fan of dryer lint that my kids were. Although it collects from clean laundry, it’s still just a bunch of dust. If it’s not removed regularly from your dryer lint trap, it’s inevitable that more dust will continue to circulate in your home. If you don’t enjoy dusting and vacuuming, you’ll be glad to know that getting into the habit of clearing out your lint trap can actually reduce the amount of cleaning you’ll need to do.

Since dryer vents are meant to release moisture and hot air outside, a blockage of lint can also contribute to mold growth. As wet lint continues to accumulate inside the ducts, it becomes much harder to clean out, even by a professional.

I get it. If your daily to-do list already feels like it’s miles long, you’re probably not keen on adding another task. But cleaning out your dryer lint trap is quick and easy, and failing to do so means you’re putting everyone in your house at an increased risk of fire exposure.

Get into the habit of removing lint after every single load of laundry you dry. You can make the job a bit easier by putting a small collection bin next to your dryer so you’ll have a convenient place to deposit the handfuls of dust. And if you’re really keen to take your dryer lint obsession to the next level, check out our blog on some of the interesting ways that homeowners are putting their collected lint to good use.

Don’t forget to book your annual air duct and dryer vent cleaning and maintenance with Whyte Ridge. They’ll make sure that your entire ductwork is cleared of dust and debris and thoroughly clean your dryer vent, reducing the risk of fire and giving you peace of mind.