When was the last time you checked the vent hose on your clothes dryer? For most of us, it’s something we never think about. We might remember to clean off the lint filter between loads, but seldom check the condition of the hose that it opens into. Yet, problems in the condition of that hose or the way it was installed can create dangerous conditions.
The first thing to check is where the hose is vented. It should run to the outside of the house. If the hose runs to another area inside the house, such as the attic, all that damp, moldy lint from drying clothes can accumulate and cause damage to plaster and framing. Even worse is having a gas dryer that is not vented outside. This can be a lethal situation; all the moisture, lint, and exhaust gases produced by the dryer will be blown directly into the basement – a mixture of airborne pollution, mold and carbon monoxide.
Next, look at the material used for the vent hose. A recent Consumer Reports™ article states that there are 15,000 dryer fires each year. One culprit involved in these fires is the use of plastic vent hose. The wire ribbing in the hose slows down the airflow and eventually collects lint – which, in turn, slows down the exhaust even further.