Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Dryer Vent Blockage May Be Increasing Your Dryer Time

You’re getting ready to go out on a fun night. Whether it’s a night out on the town, meeting up with your family, or just a romantic supper with that someone special. You’ve been looking forward to it all day, and you’re just waiting to pull your #1 pair of jeans out of the dryer and you’ll be ready to go. So, you run into the laundry room, pull the jeans out, and – no! They’re still too wet to wear. I think everyone has had this happen and it’s so disappointing. You may think that you need to start looking for a new dryer. However, before you start looking, have your dryer vent checked instead!

Dryer Vent Blockage May Be Increasing Your Dryer Time Image - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney SweepProblems Caused by a Full Vent

When your dryer runs, it is basically pulling the leftover water from the wash cycle out of the clothes. Additionally, with that water comes tiny particles, or lint. This lint is carried out of your house through the dryer vent. Over time, some gets stuck. Consequently, as more damp, warm air continues to carry more lint through that dryer vent, more lint clings to what is already stuck there. Eventually the path gets so small that it’s harder for your dryer’s motor to work the air through. This can cause your dryer to not work as efficiently. So, that means more dryer time per load of clothes, which is frustrating as well as expensive!

Dry time isn’t the only problem; in fact, it might not even be the biggest problem that lint buildup might cause. That blockage of lint particles is highly flammable. If a spark hits, it can instantly turn into a dryer fire. In fact, according to a report by the U.S. Fire Administration, “2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.”

Prevention

So, what can you do to prevent a clogged dryer vent? The first, and easiest, solution is to hire a qualified cleaning company. This should be done on a yearly basis. Also, look at your dryer vent to see if it is the plastic or foil accordion style of duct material. If it is, consider replacing it with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. This type of duct doesn’t catch the lint as easily. Also, when you have your dryer vent cleaned, have your dryer appliance cleaned as well, as this can also be a place where lint can build up.

Who To Call

Are you noticing that your dryer is taking longer and longer to dry a load of clothes? If so, you may need a new dryer. Before you look, though, call in professionals to check out your dryer vent for blockages. Who should you call? Pozzi Chimney Sweep, that’s who! Not only are they CSIA certified chimney inspectors and sweeps, they also are experts at cleaning your dryer vents. Let them take care of clearing out your dryer vent and soon you’ll be having dry clothes in a fraction of the time!

Have Your Chimney Swept Now To Avoid A Chimney Fire Later

Haste Chimney Sweep Image - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney SweepYour living room can be a haven of comfort and rest, especially if you are fortunate enough to own a home that has a fireplace. Coming in from a hard day’s work, deep down cold from the icy winter wind, there is nothing better than warming up in front of a crackling fire. The downside is this: where there is fire, there’s the danger of chimney fire. But don’t despair! There’s help out there, and if you live in the Aurora, Illinois area, the people to call are the experts at Pozzi Chimney Sweep.

Causes of Chimney Fires

There are several ways that fires can start in your chimney. Probably the most common cause of chimney fires is creosote build-up caused by a winter of building fires in your fireplace. According to Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), creosote can be black or brown, drippy and sticky or hardened and shiny, crusty and flaky – and all forms can exist in the same chimney. No matter what form it takes, one thing is for sure: creosote is highly combustible and can cause a dangerous chimney fire if left untended.

Another cause of chimney fires is blockage. It is a common occurrence for dried leaves, sticks and twigs, and other debris to blow down into your chimney, or even for wildlife such as birds or squirrels to build nests in your chimney. When you start a fire in your fireplace in the winter, sparks from the fire can escape up your chimney and catch in this blockage, causing a chimney fire to ignite.

Damage Isn’t Always Visible

Did you know that a chimney fire can occur without the homeowner being aware of it? According to the CSIA website, there are some tell-tale signs that only a qualified chimney sweep can recognize, such as ‘honey-combed’ creosote, a distorted or discolored chimney cap, or damaged roofing materials. If a chimney fire has occurred, it is vitally important that you have your chimney cleaned and checked for damages. Only by using a CSIA certified chimney sweep can you be assured that the damage will be assessed and repaired correctly and efficiently. The Chimneys.com website echoes this sentiment: “A qualified chimney sweep can diagnose and fix problems that the average person may not notice. Regularly engaging such services can mean the difference between comfortable living and disaster.”

Make Pozzi Your First Call For Chimney Sweeps

If you’re looking for a chimney service that uses the most current, up-to-the-minute cleaning techniques and technologies, then Pozzi Chimney Sweep is the chimney service for you. All of Pozzi’s technicians and sweeps are CSIA certified, and Pozzi Chimney Sweep is also a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. Pozzi Chimney Sweeps also uses a “Chim-Scan” video camera. This allows not only the sweep, but also the homeowner, to see exactly what is happening in the chimney. This helps to reassure you, the homeowner, that only the work that needs to be done is being done.

Call Pozzi Chimney Sweep to set up an appointment to have your chimney inspected and cleaned today, before that snowy Illinois winter arrives.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chimneys and Carbon Monoxide

A big part of the role that Pozzi Chimney Sweep plays in our community—and where we derive much of our purpose—is keeping Illinois homeowners and their families safe. By thoroughly inspecting and cleaning chimneys and dryer vents, we keep people safe from potential fires, but we also keep them protected from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide, known as “the silent killer,” is often the last thing on a homeowner’s mind when they get their fire lit for the first time each year or when they turn on their clothes dryer, but if a chimney or dyer is blocked or its draft is impeded in some other way, it may not be able to vent properly.

Pozzi Chimney Sweep offers the full gamut of chimney services, including chimney sweeping, inspection, and repair, along with dryer ventilation cleaning.

Pozzi Chimney Sweep offers the full gamut of chimney services, including chimney sweeping, inspection, and repair, along with dryer ventilation cleaning.

Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America reports that more than 200 people die each year because of venting problems that lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. An additional 10,000 carbon monoxide-related injuries are reported annually. Simply put, too much CO in your blood will kill you, and our bodies will mistakenly choose carbon monoxide over oxygen when exposed to both. To make matters worse, this is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas.

Experts will tell you that the symptoms of prolonged, low-level carbon monoxide poisoning mimic flu symptoms so closely that people sometimes don’t discover the real culprit until it’s too late and permanent damage has already been done to the brain or organs. Common CO poisoning symptoms include: headaches, nausea, dizziness, exhaustion, even depression.

How can my chimney create carbon monoxide?

Because houses today are more tightly sealed, saving us energy dollars, they do not naturally vent toxic gases, which are the byproducts of combustion, so well as they once did. Furthermore, new high-efficiency heating appliances, when paired with an existing chimney flue or improperly installed, may not function correctly and can cause CO to build up in the home. Chimneys that are blocked by birds’ nests or creosote build-up may also prevent toxic gases from filtering as they should.

How can a chimney sweep company prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

The most important thing to do is to have your fireplace, chimney, and your heating system inspected annually. This is a recommendation shared by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association, and the American Lung Association. During an inspection, your Pozzi Chimney Sweep technician will be able to alert you to any areas of concern in your chimney or heating appliance. We also recommend having a certified technician inspect your clothes dryer vent to search for any blockages.

If you live in or around Hinckley, Illinois, we hope you will schedule your chimney inspection and/or dryer vent inspection with Pozzi Chimney Sweep today.

Dryer Vent Safety

Many homeowners don’t pay as much attention to their dryer vent’s maintenance thinking that it doesn’t pose a threat to their family’s safety. Well, this infographic will enlighten you of the dangers of dirty dryer vents and how you can prevent it.

It's easy to overlook your dryer vents, thinking it doesn't pose a threat to your safety. But now you know that it can, in fact, cause serious destruction and harm. Don't neglect it.

It’s easy to overlook your dryer vents, thinking it doesn’t pose a threat to your safety. But now you know that it can, in fact, cause serious destruction and harm. Don’t neglect it.

Know the Basics in Family Fire Safety

Don't wait until this happens to your home. Be informed! Keep your family safe from fire.

Don’t wait until this happens to your home. Be informed! Keep your family safe from fire.

On a chilly winter’s night, the fireplace seems like the best place in the world to be in. Yes, your fireplace and chimney can give you that toasty feeling you long for, but it could also burn down your house in flames if you don’t pay attention to it and fail to follow simple guidelines to keep you and your family safe. That’s what we here at Pozzi Chimney Sweep would like to make sure of – that you know the basics in fire safety and that your chimney and fireplace is in tip-top shape to do its task efficiently.

Be Prepared

The first thing you need to do is to have fire or smoke alarms installed in all the rooms and in different levels of your home (if there’s more than one level). Check the batteries vigilantly so that you won’t get caught up in a situation where it’s too late to do anything because your alarms didn’t sound off. Sprinklers are also a good investment and they don’t cost too much. Also, have fire extinguishers around the house. More importantly, when the worst happens, you should be ready with a simple and effective fire escape plan. This should be practiced by everyone so that they will all know what to do and where to go. We can also give you advice on how to make an effective escape plan and route for your home.

Be Informed

Of course, it’s not enough to just be prepared for a fire. You also have to do your part in ensuring that fires don’t start in the first place. One sure-fire way is to be well-informed, especially when it comes to matters pertaining to your fireplace. You have to know what wood to burn, how to spot irregularities, how to make sure all family members know how to safely be around fire, and what things should be kept away from you fireplace (like flammable fluids and things that could explode with intense heat).

So don’t wait until something bad happens, give us a call and we’ll see to it that you can enjoy the warmth of your fireplace without having to worry about the possibility of a fire breaking out. Our certified technicians can inspect and sweep your chimney and fireplace and give you all the advice you need to minimize any hazard.