It’s been over 100 years since the first clothes dryers were invented. They initially used barrels but nowadays they are fully electronic. Modern dryers require a way to ventilate the dryer so the lint and moisture can exit. But, how do you install a dryer vent? The process takes five steps:

Duct Route

The first step is to determine the best route to have the duct go from the machine to the home’s exterior. You try to make this short and with minimal bends. This will ensure less possibility for excessive buildup and a potential fire hazard. We highly recommend making the distance no more than 15 feet, if possible.

Preparing the Exit

Once you have the route, you need to create a hole within the home’s exterior to account for the piping. Do this hole carefully as you are impacting the integrity of the home. Creating a smaller, “practice” hole is a good idea to ensure you are heading in the right direction and there is no blockage.

Place the Cap

With the hole in place, it’s time to secure the dryer vent cap to the exterior of the home. Once you’ve installed it, place calking around the opening to keep any other elements out.

Connect the Dryer Duct

With the route created and the cap installed, measure the length of the distance from the cap to the dryer. Cut the amount of ducting needed and attach the dryer vent duct to the dryer and cap.

Test

With the vent installed and connected, you now need to run the dryer to test that it is all properly connected.

If you have questions about your dryer vents, contact the experts at The Irish Sweep.

Among the top appliances that homeowners rely on to manage a household is the dryer. Don’t let your dryer turn into a fire risk by not cleaning it routinely and appropriately. The lint that builds up is like kindling for a fire. Add the heat of the dryer and a safety hazard exists in every home.

Homeowners often disregard fundamental dryer support until something breaks, but that plan is a fire risk you don’t need. Consistently cleaning the dryer vent is a simple method of reducing laundry expenses, increasing fire safety, and minimizing maintenance while getting better laundry drying results.

Here are some of the reasons to have your dryer vent professionally cleaned on a schedule: 

Clothing Drying:

A dryer with a clogging vent will take more time drying clothes. This is because of restricted airflow, which is why it also reduces the effectiveness of your lint trap! You’ll find your clothes are more damp and more linty than if you had dried for the same time with a clear dryer vent system. You can save time waiting for things to dry AND time spend with your lint roller by getting vents cleaned.

Equipment Failure:

Given that you don’t clean your vent routinely, you’re setting a superfluous measure of strain on the dryer. Warmth will eventually slaughter the hardware that power each apparatus available. What’s more, a dryer that is working more diligently than would normally be appropriate will experience parts like course more rapidly. Cleaning the dryer vent routinely can spare you substantial dollars in fixes during the life span of the unit.

Utility Bills:

Moderate evaluations keep up that a normal dryer will use at any rate $0.75 worth of power during a standard drying cycle. A dryer with a messy or obstructed vent can accept twice as long to accomplish worthy outcomes. This implies a common family unit will squander about $100 towards power in a year. Regardless of whether the cushioned service bill doesn’t concern you, the unnecessary carbon emanations should.

Unwanted Guests:

In all honesty, a linty dryer vent is an extraordinary method to pull in an assortment of irritations to your home. Build up garbage in and around the surge pipe are the ideal condition for a number frightening critters. Rodents specifically love to relocate to a comfortable, trash stopped up vent. The moist smaller scale atmosphere encompassing a dryer with a messy vent is a prime area for termites and ants.

Fire Hazards:

As indicated by the National Fire Protection Agency, somewhere in the range of 15,000 to 18,000 structure flames are brought about by grimy dryer vents each year. Build up development alone is a debacle that is constantly building. Notwithstanding something as innocuous as electricity produced via friction can rapidly start a huge blaze under the correct conditions. Exhausted dryers that are near the edge because of stopped up vents can without much of a stretch blow a circuit and begin an electrical flame.

As should be obvious, dryer vent cleaning is indispensably critical to the well being and security of your whole family. Set aside the effort to wipe out your dryer vent and investigate it in any event twice every year. The negligible measure of time you put resources into this will receive rich benefits in adding to the security of your home.

If you have questions or need your vents cleaned, contact the experts at The Irish Sweep.

spring cleaning checklist, household chores, home maintenance

Spring cleaning is a tradition households follow as winter weather gives way to fresh, warm spring days. This is a natural time for fresh starts, including resetting your annual home needs. And going forward knowing all is in order.

Spring cleaning has its own natural task list, plus many things that you could theoretically do any time. It’s convenient and efficient to lump these spring-time and any-time chores together.

So what are these tasks and what’s the best way to get them done? You can actually get a huge amount of home maintenance accomplished if you approach it with good organization. This 3 day plan can leave you with all your spring chores handled easily in just a few days.

Day 1- Doing Walkthroughs

Get a notepad and write these headings on the pages: BUY, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, and REPLACE. As you go, you’ll be making lots of notes here. This can help you stay organized and efficient, so you can save your time and energy for other things.

Walkthrough to find out what’s needed:

Inside the House

  • Press the “test” button on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Swap out old batteries for fresh ones, if needed. Write down any batteries you need to buy.
  • Check your plumbing for leaks. Include sinks, toilets, and any pipes you can access. Make notes if needed under repair or replace.
  • Turn on all lights as you walk through, list bulb types and number you need under “buy”.
  • Check your walls for dirt and scuffs. Wash walls if needed, or note where you need to repaint.
  • Inspect caulking in the bathroom & kitchen. Also check window seals, and seals on door and window insulation as you go. Make notes if needed under repair and replace.
  • Clean your floors and check for stains and damage. If you need minor repairs, carpet cleaning, or significant floor maintenance, make a note of it.
  • Check your HVAC system and make note of the filter size to buy for replacement.
  • Look at your dryer vent. When was it cleaned last? Have it professionally cleaned if needed.
  • Have you had your chimney swept this year? If not make a note to schedule maintenance.

Outdoors

  • Inspect and test your lawnmower, make notes where appropriate if it needs help.
  • Turn on your irrigation system and walk around the grounds to inspect it before the watering season. Move any roots choking it, make notes of any leaking or clogged areas it has.
  • Inspect wooden features like decks and fences to see if they need to be re-sealing or staining, make a note of loose railings and boards to repair.
  • Spray down concrete and look for pools of water on your property. When it rains, are there places where water pools in your grass and soil areas? Look at your driveway, walkways, and patios. Make note if concrete surfaces or drainage need professional help.
  • Visually assess your foundation, siding and roof for repair and maintenance needs. If you can’t see your roof from the ground, make a note to call for a roof inspection.
  • Use a ladder to check your gutters and downspouts for foliage. Make a note under maintenance to clean them if needed.
  • Observe your lawn, landscaping and trees. Make a note of any problems that might need addressing.

Day 2- Getting Stuff Done

This would ideally be a full day off from work. Day two doesn’t literally have to be the day after Day 1. It should be a day that you have time to get your hands dirty.

  • Looking at your to-do lists, add anything you need from the store to the to-buy list
  • Buy items on your list from yesterday: batteries, HVAC filters, etc.
  • Complete the tasks you noted to do today.
  • Give your fireplace surround a thorough scrubbing.
  • Dust your home, from top to bottom. Start with things that are higher up, then mid-level, then lower items.
  • Clean your doors, windows and screens — inside and out. If they need repair or replacement, make a note.
  • Flush your water heater, or make a note under maintenance to hire a pro to perform the work for you. Experts recommend flushing annually.
  • If you have a sump pump, test it by slowly pouring water into the sump pit. The pump should activate and the water should drain. Make a note that you need repair if necessary.
  • Do a lawn mower oil change if it’s been a while, and fill it up with gas if needed.
  • Flip the switches on your ceiling fans to move the fan blades counterclockwise and send air downward. This should help clean dust from the blades. If they need extra dusting, get a step ladder and wipe them with a rag.
  • Inspect your HVAC system and replace your filters. Make a note to hire a professional if you’re due for your annual service or an air duct cleaning.
  • At the end of the day, make note of anything still undone to come back to later.

Day 3- Making Plans

This should ideally be a work day, so that businesses are open when you call. Look at your calendar and identify times you can schedule maintenance and repairs. This makes it easier when you make calls to schedule services that you identified a need for. Make the calls to schedule services you need.

You can also use today to finish repairs or maintenance that you weren’t able to finish on the second day. There may have just been a high volume of things to get done, or some tasks may have included more steps than you foresaw. Either way, today’s your day to wrap them up.

Using this system of 1) Doing Walkthroughs, 2) Getting Stuff Done, and 3) Making Plans can keep you organized and ensure that all your Spring Cleaning tasks get handled efficiently.


dryer selecting, how to choose a dryer, dryer vent safety.

 

There are so many considerations that go into choosing a dryer. Many more than you probably expected when you decided a new dryer was in order. Today’s tumble dryers have so many options, it could easily feel like too many. So let’s start with the basics and we’ll walk through some of the new-fangled options too.

 

Measure the space

First thing’s first: how much room can you give to your new dryer? You will not be happy if the dryer you buy is one inch too wide, so don’t eye-ball it. Bust out the tape measure and write down what you find out. Remember that a tight fit may be undesirable too, especially if you want to swing the door all the way open.

 

Hinge Side

Have you ever had a washer and dryer whose doors swing into each other? Many people have, because they weren’t careful when selecting hinge side. You don’t choose based on your dominant hand or where the door to the room is, you want your dryer to open away from the washer, so that you don’t have to lift clothes over or around the dryer door. You will be asked when ordering which side you want it to open to, since all models have the option of opening either way.

 

Electric or Gas?

With the exception of your refrigerator, nothing in your home will use more energy than your dryer, whether it’s electric or gas. There are differences between the way each type of dryer uses energy that can have a big impact on the true cost of owning and operating one over the other. All dryers use electricity to keep your clothing in motion throughout the cycle. Electric dryers also use electricity to power the heater and fan that continually blows hot air through the machine. Gas dryers power these components using natural gas or propane. Gas dryers are harder to relocate, and tend to stay with the houses they’re installed in.

 

Steam Cleaning

Our dryers used to just dry things, but these days they tend to offer more than that. Steam Cleaning cycles are starting to become available in many models. This cycle removes light stains and odors, and can be used on things that you wouldn’t normally wash, like pillows or stuffed animals.

 

Eco-Mode Settings

Most of us are trying to make our daily lives as ecologically sound as we can, or at least not do maximum damage. Today’s dryers are on our side, as many of them have eco-mode versions of most or all cycles. The eco-mode may be shorter, cooler, or otherwise energy saving.

 

Smart Dryers

If you’re not keen on keeping track of when your dryer needs maintenance or checking if your clothes are dry, there are now models that will email or text you status updates on your drying load or reminders to schedule a vent cleaning. With some models you can even ask the Google Voice Assistant ALexa questions about your dryer or laundry status.

 

The Universal Constant of Dryers

One thing that has not changed, and will not likely change, is that dryer vents need cleaned by a professional regularly for your safety. If your dryer vents haven’t been receiving regular cleanings, you may have a safety issue on your hands. Contact the Irish Sweep today to have your dryer vents made safe again.

dryer fires, lint vent screen fire, safety

 

A high number of home fires begin in your laundry room. This is usually a result of your clothes dryer, although the washer is not immune. The source of a dryer fire can be either the machine itself, or the dryer that goes away from the home. Preventing dryer fires in your Bay Area home is critical and not too difficult. Here are some facts from NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) dated June 2017.

  • Fire departments answered to approximately 15,970 home fires involving laundry rooms. These fires resulted in approximately $238 million in property damage per year, 440 injuries, and 13 deaths.
  • Of these fire calls, 92% were the result of the clothes dryers.
  • The main items in the clothes dryer that can lead to a fire are dust, fiber, or lint.
  • In 31% of clothes dryer fires, the lack of proper trap or vent cleaning is what caused it.
  • Most of the clothes dryer fires occur between August and January, which is why cleanings are recommended over the summer.

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. The following are some key steps you can take to avoid such fires:

  • Ensure that you always have your lint filter in your clothes dryer.
  • After each use, clean out the lint filter and any lint within the clothes dryer drum.
  • When you purchase or move a clothes dryer, have it installed by a professional.
  • Make sure your dryer stays in good condition. You should have it inspected annually by a professional.
  • Have the dryer vent cleaned annually.
  • Do not leave your dryer running while you are out of the house or not awake.
  • Within your venting system, use proper materials to reduce the risk.

These tips are the beginning of what you can do to reduce your risk of fires from your clothes dryer. The Irish Sweep is an expert at dryer vent cleaning. We recommend doing this each year, particularly over the summer so you avoid the risks of fires.