Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Home Care
by Scott Sauer
Advanced Structural Inspections

Clothes Dryer Safety

Few people realize the importance of dryer safety. It is estimated that there are 15,000 fires a year that can be attributed to clothes dryers. The causes of these fires can be placed into two categories.

The first is external, which relates to the build-up of lint and restricted air flow in the dryer vents. The second is internal, and lint is the primary culprit, collecting on the heating element. Safety isn’t the only reason to monitor your clothes dryer. You can help extend the life of your dryer by regular maintenance and lower your energy costs by lowering the drying times.

As you know from cleaning out your lint filter, dryers produce large quantities of lint. Most people assume their lint traps catch all that lint. However, lint does get past the filter and can build-up inside the appliance. It can even collect on the heating element, causing it to overheat or even catch fire. It is a good idea to have the appliance serviced every three years.

Dryer vents are a little more complicated. How often they need to be cleaned depends on a number of different factors. Monitor your dryer for drying time - if it takes longer than thirty to forty-five minutes to dry a normal load of clothes, then it may be time to clean your vent. Make the following checklist a part of your maintenance program:

  • The dryer vent should vent to the home's exterior.
  • The dryer vent should not be longer than 25'.
  • The exterior vent cap should have a flap.
  • Never have an exterior cap that has a screen cover.
  • Check the vent connector at the back of the dryer.
  • Use a metal and smooth walled vent connector.
  • Does the dryer operate hotter than normal?

The older the home, the more likely you have a defect with the dryer vent. Older homes have plastic dryer vent connectors and tend to have dryer vents terminate in unapproved locations. Incorrect venting can even lead to carbon monoxide being released into the structure. So, include your clothes dryer as part of the regular maintenance of your home. Not only can it save on your energy costs, it can even save your life.

For more on this or other home care subjects, contact Scott at

Boulder City Magazine®
688 Wells Rd #A
Boulder City, Nevada 89005
Phone (702) 294-1392 Fax (702) 294-1392

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