If you are the owner or operator of a laundromat, or a laundry facility running out of a hotel, motel, school, seniors’ home, care home, apartment complex, condo building, or another multi-family housing unit, it is incredibly important that you not only keep the machines well-maintained, but that you are also cleaning commercial dryer vents regularly. The health and safety of your customers should never be put at risk, and an accumulation of dryer lint in the vents can spell disaster for your business and may jeopardize the safety of your clientele and employees.
Dryer lint builds up in the vents of any laundry facility, including home laundry systems. Cleaning out the lint traps between tumble dryer uses is one way to avoid fire hazards, but over time, a small amount of lint escapes the trap and winds up accumulating in the vents, building up into one large, flammable mass. The dryers are then working with a reduced airflow issue due to this excessive lint, causing them to have to work harder to dry the laundry, eventually overheating, causing this lint to catch fire.
The dryer is the most common household appliance to catch fire because of this risk. Residential dryer fires happen far too often in the United States, with around 2900 dryer fires happening each year, resulting in $35 million in property damage. The more laundry machines that exist inside one building, the more the fire risk is compounded, making laundromats and other laundry centers even more prone to becoming a fire hazard if the commercial dryer vents are not regularly and thoroughly cleaned and maintained. Not only are there more vents with more lint, but the machines are also closer together, generating more heat between them.
If you are wondering how often you should be cleaning your dryer vents, follow these handy tips and your laundry facility will remain safe for yourself, your employees, and your customers.
Spot the signs your dryer vents need to be cleaned
Dryer vents do not fill with lint suddenly, it is a process that takes some time, and there are many signs that it is time to clean your dryer vents. Some of the most common signs that you need to clean dryer vents include:
- Needing to run the laundry machines for a longer time to get dry clothes. A longer drying time is a sign that the ventilation is blocked in the vents, and they have become clogged, meaning they need an air duct cleaning.
- They feel unusually hot. Another sign you may need to get your commercial dryer vent cleaned is when one or more of your dryers feel unusually hot (on the outside). Of course, it is normal for them to feel somewhat warm as they are operating, but if you notice the laundry comes out unusually hot, or there is hot air escaping from the unit, you may need to get the vent cleaned.
- You smell something burning. Always an alarming scent, the smell of a burning dryer duct while running a dryer is a particularly serious situation. Dryer lint is extremely flammable and can catch fire when it is caught around the hose or exhaust area in the vent line. If you smell something burning in your laundry facility, stop the unit immediately and call a professional duct cleaning service immediately.
Call a professional service for your dryer vent cleanings
Commercial duct cleaning is an expense you will want to pay for. Clogged dryer vents and pipework need to be inspected, and the infrastructure will need to be checked for fire safety. Once the visual inspection is complete and it is deemed safe, the cleaners will bring out their specialist cleaning tools and get to work on the dryer duct cleaning. They will remove lint accumulation and other debris in a deep cleaning process, providing a report once the work is finished.
Ensure you get your commercial vent lines cleaned regularly and on schedule
Not only will getting your vents cleaned every 3 to 5 years at minimum prevent fires from occurring in your business, but it will also ensure your clothes dryers run more efficiently, providing energy savings which translate into money savings.
As a business owner, you may want to upgrade your laundry machines to app-run, internet-connected washers and dryers as you can monitor issues like these from the comfort of your own office or home via your smartphone or tablet. Avoiding dryer vent fires has never been more convenient.
It is a good idea to learn about preventative maintenance, ensure you have adequate fire suppression systems, regularly clean your lint trap, and always get an expert for commercial duct cleaning. Vent cleaning benefits include fire protection for your business, better energy efficiency, and running capacity, resulting in optimal profit margins.
To find out more about the types of laundry systems and commercial dryer options available for your business, contact Commercial Laundries today. We can help you choose the systems that will best suit your laundry business and meet your efficiency and budgetary needs.