Signs You Need Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning

Clean dryer vents are underrated. When the ducts and vents in your dryer are clean and lint-free, your clothes dry better and faster – plus you avoid several common risks. Not only are clogged dryer vents a fire hazard, they also decrease the lifespan of your dryer, use up to 30% more energy, hike up your energy bill, and invite animals to nest in the warm, soft lint in the ducts. Not exactly desirable! Luckily, keeping clean dryer vents is easy if you know the right tips, tricks, and signs to look for.  

Read on to learn more about telltale signs that it’s time for a professional dryer vent cleaning. 

You might need a professional dryer vent cleaning if…

Clothes take longer than usual to dry.

How long does it take to dry your clothes? If your usual timer goes off and your clothes are still damp, then you might be wondering why your dryer’s performance has started to decline. Longer drying times are one of the first signs that there’s lint buildup in the vents or ducts. The more you continue to use your ineffective dryer, the more you increase your energy usage (and your utility bill). 

It smells like something is burning.

If unusual smells are emanating from the laundry room, particularly musty, moldy, or burnt odors, stop using the dryer immediately. When clogged ducts prevent heat and moisture from properly venting, mold and mildew may begin to grow in your dryer. Burning odors coming from the dryer usually indicate that lint has begun to spark somewhere in the dryer vents or ducts, which is a serious fire hazard. No need to throw out the whole dryer – a good cleaning can remove lint from the ducts and resolve these issues. 

Excessive lint appears in the lint trap after each cycle.

Lint doesn’t just disappear. When clogs appear, lint that should be pushed through the vent line may build up instead. Lint can accumulate in spaces throughout the system and laundry area, remain on your clothes since the dryer has nowhere to dispose of it, or bunch up behind the dryer and in the door seal. So much trapped lint is a fire waiting to happen. 

It’s been a year since your last professional cleaning. 

For best performance, dryer longevity, and maximum safety, dryer vents and ducts should be professionally cleaned annually. Most professional cleaners use a special brush with a vacuum extension to get deep in the nooks and crannies of the dryer vent system. Between annual cleanings, make sure to regularly clean out the lint trap and lint screen – and never overload your dryer. 

Talk to Us 

The Irish Sweep specialists can get deep into your vent system where most household cleaning methods can’t reach, so you can enjoy a safer and more effective system for years to come. Our top priority is safety and we customize our services with our client’s best interest at heart. Enjoy clean dryer vents now! To schedule an appointment with an expert, call us at (510)521-4088, or use this simple contact form by clicking here.

What to Expect From Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

Did you know that firefighters respond to about 13,820 house fires caused by dryers every year? These unfortunate and dangerous accidents often cause fire-related injuries and cost a great deal of money in property loss. What’s more, they are often preventable:  34% of the time, these fires are often the result of simply not cleaning the dryer vent. To keep your dryer safe and running smoothly, schedule professional dryer vent cleaning services at least once a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection.

Read on to find out what to expect from professional dryer vent cleaning services – and learn about how these services guarantee better performance!

Expect a Thorough Cleaning

With professional services, you will get a deeper and more thorough cleaning than you would from cleaning the dryer yourself. That’s not to say you shouldn’t still clean your dryer vents regularly – doing so will keep buildup and clogs to a minimum – but professionals have the specialized equipment and techniques to extract a high volume of lint and dust. Clean dryers can dry clothes faster, run on less energy, and last longer than dirty dryers.

Expect High-Quality Equipment & Techniques

Professionals have been trained to use specialized equipment that can reach every nook and cranny in your dryer vents and ducts. The process usually involves a flexible vacuum brush, snake brush, or suctioning tool, which can reach inside the dryer vent and collect all of the debris within. After the cleaning, technicians perform an inspection using a digital airflow meter to ensure that the airflow has improved.

Expect Improved Fire Safety

Lint is essentially kindling sitting in the hot environment of the dryer vents. By keeping ducts and vents free of lint, dust, and debris, there is a greatly reduced chance of fire. Without anything to ignite, sparks won’t catch. Professional cleaning services are an investment in the fire safety of your home.

Expect High-Quality Results

Clean and maintained dryers work better, faster, and last longer. Though maintenance requires foresight and action, it offers long-term benefits for your household appliances. After professional dryer vent cleaning services, you can expect improved performance, faster drying times, reduced energy usage, reduced damage to your dryer, and reduced wear and tear on your clothes on each cycle.

Signs your dryer vents and ducts need cleaning:

  • It takes more than one cycle to fully dry clothes
  • Clothes smell musty after going through a dryer cycle
  • The laundry room feels hot or maybe damp while the dryer is running
  • Clothes are too hot to touch at the end of a cycle
  • The dryer sheet picks up sour or musty odors

Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning Now

The Irish Sweep specialists can get deep into your vent system where most household cleaning methods can’t reach, so you can enjoy a safer and more effective system for years to come. Our top priority is safety and we customize our services with our client’s best interest at heart. To schedule an appointment with an expert, call us at (510)521-4088, or use this simple contact form by clicking here.

Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Ah, summer is here. The temperatures are soaring, the sun is blazing, and the days are long. It’s important that you take the time to maintain your home this summer and to prepare it for the extreme heat that you could be facing. If you’ve been scouring the internet for Alameda dryer vents cleaning, chimney services, or fireplace installation, look no further. Check out our ultimate checklist of summer home maintenance tips to help you give your home some TLC, and learn how our experts at The Irish Sweep can help!

Indoor Summer Home Maintenance

  1. Do a test of your smoke detectors. Replace the batteries if needed.
  2. Get your cooling system ready. Replace the filter in your air conditioner.
  3. Get your chimney cleaned. Yes, you might not use your fireplace again until fall or winter, but that’s exactly why this is the perfect time to call a chimney cleaning service. They won’t be as busy!
  4. Reverse the direction of the ceiling fan if necessary. During summer, use your ceiling fan in a counterclockwise direction – this directs airflow down to create a cooling effect. Take the time to dust the fan blades, too!
  5. Clean the garbage disposal. When’s the last time you tackled your garbage disposal? Exactly.
  6. Take on some decluttering. Why not take the chance to go on a Marie Kondo-style decluttering spree?
  7. Clean your dryer vents. Professional dryer vent cleaning services help your dryer work more efficiently, use less energy to do its job, and extend its lifespan. Clogged dryer vents are also a fire hazard.
  8. Be aware of material shortages due to the pandemic. Reduced fabrication of certain appliances due to restricted access to materials is an unfortunate side effect of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have considered installing a gas or wood burning insert to your fireplace, begin the process now! Retailers and installers recommend starting renovation now to avoid a long wait for materials.

Outdoor Summer Home Maintenance

  1. Clean your grill to prep for summer barbequing. Use hot water, dish soap, and a scrub brush to clean a charcoal grill. For a gas grill, close the lid, turn the heat to high, and let the grill cook for about half an hour. Let it cool, then use a grill brush to sweep the grill and clean the drip trays.
  2. Consider your watering schedule. If you’ve got plants, think about your strategy for watering them over the summer.
  3. Add a layer of mulch. Also, some extra mulch will help fight off weeds and help your soil retain moisture during those scorching summer months.
  4. Protect your home against unwanted guests. Caulking your windows and doors can help stop bugs and ants from infiltrating your home.
  5. Don’t forget the pool. If you have a swimming pool, take the time to give it a good clean so it’s all ready for the summer.
  6. Consider an outdoor clothesline. Take advantage of the warm weather and put up an outdoor clothesline so you’re not using your dryer as much.
  7. Put a sturdy mat at the door. Help your guests avoid tracking in dirt by having a good mat at your front door.

Need Alameda Dryer Vents Cleaning?

So, there you have it – our summer home maintenance tips. The above list will help you clean up and take care of your home this summer. Preventive home maintenance can even help you save money on home insurance, and it’s never too late to start!

Our services at The Irish Sweep can help you get your home summer-ready in no time. To schedule an appointment with an expert, call us at (510)521-4088, or use a simple contact form by clicking here.

3 Common Questions About Dryer Vents

Do you have questions about dryer vent cleaning and why you need a professional vent cleaner? Some people don’t realize that the vent is different from the lint trap. But even if you understand the difference, it’s easy to forget that a dryer needs to be serviced too. So, these are answers to the 3 questions we hear the most often. Let’s dive right in!

1) Why do I need my dryer vent cleaned? I clean the lint trap all the time.

While cleaning the lint trap is also important, a vent cleaner will get to those hard-to-reach places that you may not even be aware of. Did you know that the dryer vent is actually a tube that connects to the back of your dryer? All of that hot humid air inside your dryer needs a way to escape.

One of the top reasons to schedule your dryer vent cleaning is that when enough lint accumulates it can become a fire hazard. Regular maintenance will also keep your appliance functioning properly and extend its lifetime.

2) My dryer vent is connected to the outside wall, so do I still need your services?

If a dryer vents from the back of the appliance directly to an exterior wall, the vent probably needs less frequent cleanings. However, if the venting system has multiple elbows, most certainly it will require much more frequent service from a professional vent cleaner. This is because each elbow slows the venting process. As particles move more through the system, there is more accumulation with this design.

Additionally, households who have people with long hair or pets that shed will also need their venting system cleaned more frequently. Households that use dryer sheets need more maintenance too, as the dryer sheets leave a sticky residue in the venting system.

3) I have never cleaned my dryer vent and it seems just fine, should I worry?

Your dryer may seem like it’s working fine, but if you’ve never scheduled an appointment with a dryer vent cleaner, definitely have a specialist inspect your dryer as soon as possible. Essential home maintenance like dryer vent cleaning can actually save you money by preventing the need for repairs to your appliance, not to mention the fire risk of skipping regular appointments.

Some reasons to schedule a dryer vent cleaning:

  • Shorter drying times
  • Lower monthly energy bills
  • Skipping dryer maintenance is a dangerous fire risk
  • Save money: Clogged dryer vents put a lot of wear and tear on the appliance, leading to a higher risk of a breakdown.

Signs You Need Dryer Vent Cleaning

  • The dryer gets hot to the touch
  • Laundry takes longer and longer to dry
  • There’s lint behind the dryer

Talk to a Professional Vent Cleaner

At The Irish Sweep, we have the experience you need for such an important job. If you’re in the Alameda area, give us a call at (510) 521-4088. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about dryer or fireplace safety in your home. You can also view our customer testimonials by clicking this link.

Tips on Having Your Dryer Vents Cleaned

When was the last time you had your Alameda dryer vents cleaned by a professional? If it’s been a while, don’t put this essential home maintenance off any longer. Did you know that a clogged dryer vent that accumulates lint is actually a fire hazard? Dirty dryer vents start thousands of fires each year in the United States. Here are some basics you need to know about dryer vent maintenance.

A Messy Chore

It’s a messy chore, but someone has to do it. At the bare minimum, your Alameda dryer vents should be cleaned out on a yearly basis to keep the appliance working at peak performance. This is especially true if some of the occupants of the house have long hair or if there are pets in the home that shed. Also did you know that dryer sheets leave a sticky residue inside the vent and, of course, the lint from the dryer is prone to sticking to that residue.

There are some common signs to watch out for, such as a burning smell, clothes that just won’t seem to dry no matter how long you leave it running, and also a dryer that becomes hot to the touch.

Cleaning Your Alameda Dryer Vents

First things first, a professional will disconnect your dryer before getting to work. Whether it’s gas or electric, it can simply be unplugged from the outlet, so know that we don’t need to touch the gas supply valve. The vent can be found at the back of the dryer, and the exhaust should always vent to the outside atmosphere.  A professional will then pull the appliance about a foot away from the wall so they can access the vent and the area behind the dryer. After a pro has taken these steps, they will disconnect the vent connector from the dryer and the vent. If the vent connector is made from plastic or other flammable material, it will be replaced with an all-metal, non-combustible option.

Wearing protective gloves, they will then clean out all the lint from the back of the dryer by hand, and then use a brush with a series of rods to brush the lint from the interior venting ductwork.  Once completed, a leaf blower will be attached to the vent and all loose debris will be cleared to finish the job.  And finally, the exterior vent cover will also be removed and cleaned out before the dryer is reconnected for use.

Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning

A professional will also be able to make sure that everything is up to code and doesn’t need to be replaced. Your safest option is always to call an expert who can make sure your dryer isn’t a fire hazard. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a risk if a dryer isn’t installed correctly, or maintained over the years.

At The Irish Sweep, we have the experience you need for such an important job. If you’re in the Alameda area, give us a call at (510) 521-4088. We’re available to answer any questions you have about dryer or fireplace safety in your home. You can also view our customer testimonials by clicking this link.

10 Dangerous Dryer Vent Warning Signs

Under normal conditions, a dryer vent is supposed to direct the heat away from your dryer, but sometimes dryers stop functioning properly. This is when they can break down, or even become a fire hazard. Keep in mind that regular dryer vent cleaning helps to prevent these issues. With that said, here are 10 warning signs that you may have a dangerous dryer vent problem on your hands.

1) Longer Drying Times

If you’ve noticed that drying times are becoming increasingly longer than usual, this is a sure sign that your vents are getting clogged. What happens is that lint fiber gradually collects in these vents and slowly builds up over time. When the air is restricted by this buildup of debris, it will cause your machine to trap more moisture on the inside. These vents will need a professional cleaning in order for the drying time to return to normal. Without proper maintenance, this can lead to the need for an expensive replacement.

2) Heating Issues

Heating issues can also be a problem if you don’t schedule regular dryer vent cleaning. This can cause your machine to become so hot while it’s in use that it can damage your clothes. As a result, synthetic fabrics, like nylon, acrylic, and polyester, can even start to melt. But the biggest danger comes from a dryer that overheats so much that it causes a fire. Issues with the heating element can also result in the eventual failure of your machine.

Of course, another concern is pulling clothes out of a dryer that are still hot to the touch. Often they can feel slightly damp and can cause steam burns if they’re too hot to handle. This is a serious sign that tells you it’s time to book a professional dryer vent cleaning.

3) Overheating Shutdown Problems

Clothing dryers are designed to have a built-in switch that is triggered if the motor senses it’s becoming overheated. A blocked dryer vent limits the airflow to the point that it will start tripping the machine, making it stop so it has enough time to cool down. If you don’t know this, there can be a bigger issue when you simply restart the appliance before it’s cool enough to safely operate. If the dryer continues to overheat, there’s a risk for an electrical fire, caused by the motor becoming too hot. As you can imagine, this is a dangerous situation.

4) Mold or Mildew Smells

Since lint is mostly cotton fiber, it will act as a sponge for moisture. The levels can become higher as hot, moist air tries to push through a blockage. This moisture isn’t able to effectively dry out and can become a hidden, moldy mess. The smell of mold and mildew can spread inside your venting tube and cause odors that get into the clothes you place in the dryer. Laundry should smell clean and fresh, so this moldy odor can be confusing.

5) A Burnt Smell

If you notice a burnt smell from your dryer, this is a warning sign that you need dryer vent cleaning. When too much lint builds up inside the dryer, it will give off a weird burnt smell. Of course, it can also be a sign of a failing motor or belt. Be sure to remove your laundry from the machine and call a professional who can troubleshoot the source of the problem.

6) Crushed Dryer Hose

If you haven’t checked behind your dryer in a while—or ever, take a peek and make sure that the hoses between the wall and the dryer aren’t being pinched. This is an issue because the restricted airflow is a hazard. The company that handles your dryer vent cleaning can help resolve this situation.

7) Can Dryer Sheets Cause a Fire?

There have been some claims that fabric softener sheets can cause the heating element to fail in your dryer, increasing the threat of a fire. But is this really true? While there isn’t any evidence to back up this claim, liquid fabric softener can add to the flammability of certain fabrics.

8) Bird Nests

While it may not happen very often, birds sometimes are able to build a nest in termination hoods that are left uncovered. This is a problem that needs a quick fix. A professional can inspect your dryer as well as its setup to make sure everything is secure from wildlife using it as a nesting site.

9) Lack of Lint in the Trap

Dryers have a special trap that’s designed to collect the lint on your laundry. We all know that it needs to be cleaned out after each cycle, but what if there’s never any lint in the trap anymore? In this case, an obstruction is probably causing lint to become trapped in your machine. This can cause a fire, so be sure to call a specialist for a dryer vent cleaning as soon as possible.

10) Higher Electricity Bills

A rising utility bill is an unpleasant surprise. If you notice that your electricity costs are going up, your dryer may be to blame for the hike. When this appliance isn’t functioning properly, it has to work harder and use more wattage to dry your laundry. If there are blocks, the motor needs to  try harder to make up for those air blockages. You’ll likely need to put your laundry through more than once to get it truly dry. The result is an unexpected increase in your monthly electric bill. Dryer maintenance will actually save you money in the long run.

Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning

If you notice any of these warning signs, your safest option is always to call a professional who can make sure your dryer isn’t a fire hazard. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a risk if a dryer isn’t installed correctly, or maintained over the years. At The Irish Sweep, we have the experience you need for such an important job. If you’re in the Alameda area, give us a call at (510) 521-4088. We’re available to answer any questions you have about dryer or fireplace safety in your home. You can also view our customer testimonials by clicking this link.