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Magic Sweep Blog

Dangers of Clogged Dryer Vents

If you have your own home, you most likely have your own washer and dryer. These appliances are expensive and require very little upkeep, but it’s important that homeowners remember that LOW maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance. Your clothes dryer needs routine cleaning in order to work properly and safely. Having your dryer professionally installed, including the vents, and scheduling dryer vent cleanings annually will keep your unit venting correctly and prevent dangerous dryer vent clogs.

Dirty Dryer Ventshand holding dryer lint in front of clothing dryer

According to the U.S. Fire Administration there are nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires reported each year. Of these fires, there are 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property damages. When units are as efficient as they are, manufactured as well as they are, and there are professional services designed to maintain them, there is no reason to have even one clothes dryer fire. As far as Magic Sweep is concerned, one fire is too many, and it’s our goal to prevent dangerous dryer vent fires in your home.

Dryer Vent Cleaning

The leading cause of dryer vent fires annually is the failure to clean the unit—the appliance and the vent. Homeowners think that cleaning the lint trap after use is the only thing you have to do to prevent lint buildup, but this is not so! The lint trap should be cleaned after each use, and the dryer vent itself must be professionally installed, adhere to professional standards, and be cleaned by a certified technician annually.

Did You Know…

-A dryer vent must be a minimum of 4 inches in diameter and as large as the dryer outlet?
-The dryer vent should not exceed 25 feet in length when each 90-degree angle equals 5 feet?
-Dryer vents should terminate outdoors and independent of all other systems?
-The outside termination hood should have a backdraft damper to prevent air from entering the vent from the outside?
-Flexible ducts should never be used in an attic, crawlspace, or inside a wall?
-Metal ducts should be used between the dryer and exhaust ducts?
Certified Dryer Exhaust Technicians (CDET) are trained in manufacturer and fire safety standards?

Cleaning Dryer Vents Saves You Money

You can benefit from a dryer vent cleaning no matter what type of dryer you have. It helps to prevent fires in electric and gas-powered dryers, raises efficiency, and saves money in utilities. The most common sign that you need a dryer vent cleaning is that the unit takes more than one cycle to dry a load of clothes. Many homeowners attribute this to a worn-out unit, but we know better. Your clothes dryer should last ten years. If it’s been less than 5 years old and isn’t dry in one cycle, you probably have a clogged vent! Running the dryer in this state can ignite the liner buildup in the dryer vent. It will also cost you 2 to 3 times the utilities if you run 2 to 3 cycles.

Save yourself money and protect your home and family from a devastating fire by scheduling dryer vent cleaning.

Call Magic Sweep at 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online.

Why Dryer Vent Cleaning Should be Part of Your Spring Cleaning

Your dryer vent is working for you as often as you do laundry. It’s just as important as every other system in your home but is likely the most overlooked. Homeowners assume that once the dryer is bought, delivered, and installed, it’s good to go! This is not the case, because most homeowners don’t have the dryer vent professionally installed, and fail to have it serviced regularly.

The Danger of a Dirty Dryer Vent

Your dryer vent is designed to direct lint, heat, and moisture out of the dryer and house, and terminate it outdoors. The microscopic lint particles that travel through the vent, cover the walls and become packed down as it mixes with the moisture. If the vent isn’t cleaned regularly, this debris will build-up until it forms a clog that disrupts the airflow completely. When the dryer vent is obstructed, the lint, heat, and moisture are pushed back into the dryer, and the result is always the same: malfunction, and malfunctions lead to fires.

Clothes Dryer Fires

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires reported each year, resulting in about 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. The leading cause of these fires is simple: failure to clean the dryer.

In Case You Need Another Reason to Clean the Dryer Vent

The biggest benefit of a clean dryer vent is safety, but there are other great reasons to schedule a dryer vent cleaning, at least every 12 months.

  • The dryer will work better. The dryer is designed to work with a vent system. If the vent doesn’t work properly, the dryer won’t work properly.
  • The dryer will use less electricity. The loads that used to take two or three cycles to get completely dry will no longer be an issue. Don’t assume the dryer is worn out. If it doesn’t work in one cycle, and the settings are correctly adjusted, you have a clog!
  • The dryer will last longer. When you run the dryer two or three times to dry one load, it not only takes 2-3 times more energy but also shaves down the life of your appliance! Instead of lasting the ten years it should, it will end up sputtering out after 3-5.
  • The dryer will stop warming up your house. This is especially important during the summer. The dryer should not affect your heating and cooling bill. If it does, then the vent isn’t properly venting the excess heat outdoors.

Schedule Your Dryer Vent Cleaning with Magic Sweep

At Magic Sweep, we take fire safety seriously. That’s why our technicians install, inspect, clean, and repair dryer vents. When you schedule a dryer vent cleaning with Magic Sweep, we will clean the lint and debris away without hurting the ductwork, and without making a mess. Then we will check for leaks and problems that may cause recurrence.

Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400 and schedule your dryer vent cleaning today.

Spring Cleaning Means Cleaning Your Dryer Vent Too!

When the weather turns warm is when homeowners start decluttering their homes and tending to their properties before summer is in full spring. This year, don’t just focus on packing away seasonal clothes and clearing away winter debris from the yard. While you’re completing your spring cleaning to-do list, don’t forget the dryer vent too!

Prevent Dryer Vent Fires

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are approximately 2,900 home clothes dryer fires reported each year, resulting in five deaths, 100 injuries, and approximately $35 million in property loss. A great deal of these fires (34 percent) are preventable because they are directly caused by dirty vent and dryer appliances. These fires happen most often during the fall and winter months, but can be prevented when you have the dryer vents serviced annually.

Dryer Safety

Dryer vent fires are so prevalent in modern society and result in lost lives and property loss that the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has started the C-DET program. CSIA Certified Exhaust Technicians are trained in the classroom and in the field to install, clean, and maintain dryer vents so that they are safe and functional. It’s our goal at Magic Sweep to offer dryer vent and chimney services that continue to keep those in our community safe month after month, and year after year. A clean dryer can prevent a devastating fire that destroys property, creates health problems, and even results in death. Not only will regular dryer maintenance keep your dryer safer, but it will also work better in the long run.

Save Money with a Clean Dryer Vent

When a clothes dryer is manufactured, it is designed to last up to 10 years. This is unfortunately not the case in most American homes. In fact, clothes dryers often only last half that amount of time before homeowners need to replace them or have them repaired. So, what is the problem?

  • Professional Installation – Your clothes dryer should be professionally installed, including dryer vent installation. The delivery people from the store do not install the appliance. Their job is delivery and setup. In order to have the dryer professionally installed, up to code, and safe for use, you should call a C-DET professional.
  • Proper Use – Read your owner’s manual so that you understand the proper installation and maintenance standards required for your unit. You may have a warranty that requires certain services. Your owner’s manual should also explain how to empty the lint trap, clean the unit, and more. Are you sure you’re using your clothes dryer correctly? If you’re using more than one cycle to dry a moderate-sized load of clothes, you aren’t using it properly. Not only is this improper use of the dryer, but it indicates a problem with the system.
  • Professional Cleaning and Maintenance – Your clothes dryer should dry a load in one cycle. If it doesn’t, the dryer vent is likely clogged and in danger of causing a fire. Not only is it a serious fire hazard, but it also costs you money! Using your dryer two or three times more than should be necessary can shorten its lifespan and potentially double or triple your electricity costs.

Don’t hesitate to schedule dryer vent maintenance. Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400. Do you have rental properties to service? We’ll handle that too!

We Still Have Holiday Deals

The shopping frenzy following Thanksgiving may be over, but there are still plenty of deals to take advantage of. There may be only one Black Friday in the year, but we aim to keep our customers happy year-round. At Magic Sweep we offer expert services, the highest level of professionalism, and top-of-the-line products. It’s time our customers took advantage of one more thing—coupons!

Magic Sweep Coupons

When you are making your last-minute purchases this holiday season, you can save money on something that you really need. Just print, and present to your technician at time of service.

Save on Chimney Sweeps

A chimney sweep can typically cost between $125-$250 depending on the location, the level inspection, and the type of chimney and its condition, according to Angie’s List. These sweeps are necessary to keep your chimney working properly, and to prevent fires, malfunction, and pesky problems like a smoky or stinky fireplace. Spending the regular cost of chimney sweeps can save you money on repairs and maintenance in the long-run.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon and save $10 on your next chimney sweep!

Save on Gas Logs

Gas logs have been growing in popularity because they are easy to install and offer a nice fire. Some log sets are designed specifically to look like the wood species of your choice. There are also vent-less gas logs that don’t even need a chimney. These are a popular option for homeowners who don’t have a chimney, or have an unsafe chimney but still want a fire. Log sets are safe, can produce a good amount of heat, and are affordable. Now they can be even more affordable.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon, and save $25 off of your purchase of gas logs.

Save on Dryer Vent Cleaning

Our deals don’t extend only to our hearth services and products. It’s our goal at Magic Sweep to keep our neighbors safe in and around the Hampton Roads and Tidewater area. This includes offering services to prevent dryer vent fires. Having your dryer vents cleaned raises efficiency in your appliance, saves you money, extends the life of your appliance, and prevents devastating fires. Dryer vent fires usually happen overnight while the family is sleeping (with the dryer running), and these fires happen most in January. Schedule your dryer vent cleaning now, and let Magic Sweep keep you safer this winter.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon and save $10 on your dryer vent cleaning.

Save on Air Duct Cleaning

Just like a dryer vent can become filled with debris (lint), your household air ducts can become dirty with dust, pet hair, rodent droppings, moisture, and even mold. Since this is the air that circulates through your central air and heating system, a dirty system can affect the quality of the air you breathe. Having the air ducts cleaned periodically can prevent respiratory and health issues, can raise efficiency, and save you money.

Use a Magic Sweep Coupon and save $25 on your air duct cleaning.

To schedule your services today, get the expert advice of a Magic Sweep technician, shop for your dream fireplace, and more call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400.

Chimney Liner Repair

The Key to Chimney Performance: The Liner

Your chimney needs a liner in order for the system to run safely and efficiently. The liner has a few different jobs that are important to keep the chimney working for you.

  1. The chimney liner protects the home from heat transfer from the chimney. Heat transfers to materials that support the home. This heat can weaken these materials and cause a fire hazard over a period of time.
  2. The chimney liner protects the masonry from corrosive byproducts that can damage the masonry if left uncleaned. Soot and creosote becomes especially detrimental to the chimney’s masonry if allowed to mingle with moisture. Moisture can result due to a chimney leak or humid weather.
  3. The chimney liner keeps hazardous gases and chemicals from leaving the chimney and entering the home. Hazardous gases affect the air quality and health of the family. The chimney’s masonry is porous in order to allow gas to escape and assist with the efficiency of the chimney. The liner prevents the gases from escaping into the house.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Liner?

It might be that you don’t need a completely new liner, but just a repair. Many old homes may still have a damaged clay tile liner. The stainless steel liner is rated for use with all fuel types, and built to last. The industry now has a repair option that offers the same result as a stainless steel liner and Magic Sweep specializes in this type of liner repair.

Introducing HeatShield®

Industry professionals have formulated a special “Cerfractory®” sealant that combines ceramic and refractory materials. This is used to completely restore a damaged or outdated clay liner. This system eliminates the dangers caused by gaps, cracks, and spalling in your chimney. HeatShield’s® Cerfractory® technology is proven to withstand moisture, corrosive, flue gases, and temperatures over 2900°F. It surpasses both National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and International Residential Code (IRC) which require only a “Medium-Duty” refractory mortar for use in fireplaces and chimneys.

Hiring a HeatShield® Expert to Repair Your Liner

Independent HeatShield® Installers are factory trained, and experienced with materials and specially designed tools. The technician will first apply the sealant. Then the technician uses special video cameras to verify repairs were completed properly and that the chimney will be able to return to full function.

In addition to all the benefits that HeatShield® offers, it is an “eco friendly” product. Because it is made from recycled and naturally occurring materials, so it saves on resources as well as time and money. If that is not enough to convince you to choose HeatShield® for your liner repair, then remember the 20-year material warranty.

If you’re not sure whether your chimney needs a complete replacement or rebuild, you can talk to a chimney expert today about your chimney liner repairs. Call Magic Sweep at 757-828-0404 or request an appointment online.