Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Why Your Laundry Ducts Could Be a Hidden Danger

October 16, 2020

Most business managers are across the importance of having their laundry equipment serviced regularly. Even if you’re not meticulous about maintenance (although we highly encourage you should be), your machine will alert you when something isn’t quite right. Whether it’s an error code that appears on the monitor, or a new sound starts to emit, it can generally be hard to miss the warning signs that your machine is in need of a health-check.
Unfortunately, the warning signs that your laundry ducts may be in need of attention are a little less conspicuous. The grim reality is that by the time the warning signs start to appear, if at all, your laundry is already in a state of high risk of fire or a carbon monoxide leak.
As the dryer tumbles the clothes around, loose particles separate from the fabrics and are sucked into the exhaust. This lint and debris build up over time, resulting in blocked ducts and reduced air flow. As the dryer struggles to perform in less than ideal conditions, extra strain is put on the laundry system, increasing the heat and extending the drying time. Not only is the performance of your dryer compromised and energy use increased, but the lint build-up makes the perfect ignition for spontaneous combustion. Those with gas dryers, carbon monoxide, a poisonous, colourless, odourless gas, may begin to leak into the laundry due to diminished air flow.

The Warning Signs

As mentioned above, relying on warning signs to indicate when your laundry ducts need to be serviced is not recommended. However, it is absolutely beneficial to know of the warning signs of a duct in need of cleaning or repair:

  1. There is a burning smell while the dryer is running
    If this is the case, avoid using the dryer if you can and book in a laundry duct service immediately. What you smell is likely the flammable lint and debris burning as the hot air blows through it.
  2. Lint outside the machine
    If you notice lint on and around the machine, it is likely to be much worse where you cannot see.
  3. The clothes take longer to dry
    Dryers are designed to push out the hot moist air in order for the clothing to dry. If the ventilation is blocked, then there is nowhere for the moisture to go, hence the clothes stay damp.
  4. The clothes and/or the machine are extremely hot
    Burning your hand when you touch the dryer or the clothes is an indication that the heat is not able to escape as it should.
  5. It’s been longer than a year
    Manufacturers generally recommend laundry ducts be serviced annually at a minimum.

There are other steps you can take in order to maintain a safe and clean clothes dryer. Firstly, it’s always a good idea to read the manufacturers’ instructions and warnings upon installation. As well, it’s important that your dryer and ducts are installed by a knowledgeable professional, ensuring the duct design and discharge follows the manufacturers’ installation instructions. Lastly, in order to maintain proper airflow and avoid overheating, lint should be removed from the dryer lint screen daily (or more, depending on the machine, the linen you’re drying, and how many loads). Any lint or debris inside the machine exhaust duct should be removed monthly.

When did you last have your Laundry Ventilation System cleaned by an expert? Visit http://campaign.aqualogic.com.au/ductoptimisation to request a quote.