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Dryer Vent Cleaning and Maintenance – Winter Time Carbon Monoxide Warning

Dryer vent cleaning is very important maintenance to prevent dryer fires, increased energy bills and mold and mildew damage. Dryer vent cleaning and maintenance is especially important if you have a gas dryer. Poorly vented gas appliances can cause carbon monoxide to enter your home.

During the winter months, heavy accumulation or drifting snow can block vents on the outside of homes. Most dryer vents are just a couple feet above the ground. When they become blocked by snow the dryer is unable to release heat and moisture from laundry. The dryer vent system is also responsible for venting gas by-products, including carbon monoxide, from your home.

The snowstorm that hammered the east coast prompted New York lawmakers to require everyone in the state to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Amanda’s Law went into effect after a girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2009.

Battery-powered detectors can be installed in homes built before 2008. Newer homes must have hard-wired alarms installed. The law also requires contractors to put in a CO detector when they replace a gas furnace or water heater.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at hardware stores. They set off an alarm when CO levels reach a threatening level. It is important that people follow the instructions and install the detector properly. Carbon monoxide gas is odorless and colorless. It is slightly heavier than air, but warm currents will mix it with the existing air in a room.

Alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom and on every level of the home. Fire officials do not recommend putting them on the ceiling. CO detectors should be checked every month to be sure they are in good working order. They should also be replaced if they are over 10 years old.

Carbon monoxide is more of a threat in the winter time because homes are closed up tight to conserve energy. It doesn’t take much to make people sick. Carbon monoxide forms when fuels burn incompletely. High levels and extended exposure can be deadly.

The National Fire Protection Association advises people to make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow buildup. Generators should be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas and your stove should not be used for the purpose of heating your home.

Dryer vent cleaning is recommended annually to prevent dryer fires and reduce energy bills. Dryer vent cleaning also prolongs the life of your appliance and reduces the chances of mechanical failure.Dryer vent cleaning promotes maximum airflow to ensure your dryer operates safely and efficiently.

Bob Dougherty owns Dryer Vent Wizard, specializing in dryer vent cleaning, dryer vent repair, dryer vent installation for homes and businesses in Long Island, NY.

Ever Wonder How Dryer Sheets Work?

Have you ever thought you lost a sock in the dryer, only to discover it stubbornly clinging to the arm of your sweater? Or maybe you’ve picked up a freshly cleaned shirt, only to feel a stiff texture instead of the warm softness you expected? Just running a load of clothes through wash and dry cycles isn’t always enough to make them pleasant to wear.

The reason these problems arise isn’t necessarily because your clothing is cheap or because something is going wrong in the laundry. Instead, they’re usually side effects of wet washing and the automated dry cycle. When clothes are tumbling together in the dryer, they can become stuck together through static electricity. But fabric softeners — dryer sheets, in particular — can help prevent this.

Fabric softeners were invented in the mid-20th century to make clean clothes more pleasant to touch; and later, chemicals were added to help prevent static. But using softener wasn’t convenient. They had to be added after the first wash cycle in an automatic washer, because softeners were cationic, with a positive electrical charge, and detergents were anionic, or negatively charged. Putting the two together caused them to counteract, reducing the effectiveness of both.

A scientist named Conrad J. Gaiser is believed to have come up with the second breakthrough in the 1960s, by figuring out how to treat small sheets of material with fabric softener. When the sheets were put in the dryer with laundry, the heat and moisture warmed up the softener and spread it across the clothing. Although washing machine manufacturers later added an automatic fabric softener dispenser, dryer sheets remain popular, and they’re used not only for laundry, but for many off-label purposes such as cleaning and keeping insects and rodents away.
There are many brands of dryer sheets, but they all work to solve some of the same problems. In the next section, we explain what exactly happens inside the dryer to cause static cling.

For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of dryer sheets is static electricity. Dryer sheets are supposed to keep clothes from creating static electricity; if you don’t use one, you might have to peel your clothes apart as if they were glued together. What’s going on is similar to the shock you get after you shuffle your feet across a carpet on a dry winter day and then reach for a doorknob.

In both cases, a static charge has built up as the result of two very different materials rubbing against each other. The rubbing can knock loose electrons — the outer, orbiting, negatively charged parts of an atom — from some fabrics onto others. So your sweater, for example, might end up with too many electrons and a negative charge while your sock might have too few electrons a positive charge. Opposites attract in electricity, which is why the sock might seem to have suddenly attached itself to the sweater.

Another problem is that once a material such as cotton or wool gets a static charge, it might take a while to wear off. So that shock you feel when your fingertip gets close to the doorknob comes from the very fast dispersal of the static charge your body has been holding onto. The doorknob is highly conductive, meaning it’s able to move a lot of electrons very quickly. Your typical sweaters and socks aren’t very conductive, so the static charges they pick up are slow to dissipate. This is also why a humid day or taking your clothes out while still damp can prevent static. Water is a great conductor, so it disperses a charge before it can build up.

If you’d rather wait until your clothes are completely dry, though, dryer sheets might be the way to go. Because static in the dryer is caused by too many loose electrons giving clothing atoms a negative charge, all dryer sheets have to do is balance the electrons with ions, particles with a positive charge. And as we learned in the previous section, fabric softeners are cationic, or positively charged, so they equalize the electrons to prevent static.

Dryer sheet makers solved the static problem early on, leaving them free to add other features such as long-lasting scents. Read on to learn what’s in a typical dryer sheet, and whether the chemicals it uses could make you sick.

On a visit to the store, you might be overwhelmed by all the types of dryer sheets offered. Is it possible that there could really be so many kinds of dryer sheet technology?

In many ways, the dryer sheets are the same. When buying a box of any standard dryer sheets, what you’ll find inside will likely be squares of wispy, nonwoven polyester intended for a single use. There’s little difference among most major brands in their ability to eliminate static cling and make your clothes a bit softer. Also, unless you buy unscented sheets, they’ll have a fragrance of some kind — flowery scents such as lavender are popular.

Although you get the same basic effects from any dryer sheet, there are invisible differences in the chemicals that coat different brands of sheets. If you rub a dryer sheet between your fingers, you might notice a slightly tacky feeling. That’s the surfactant, a compound that contains a positive charge and a fatty molecule such as a quaternary ammonium salt or a silicone oil. As the surfactant heats up during the drying cycle, the fatty substance coats your clothes, making them more pleasant to the touch, and the positive atoms prevent static.

But if you pick up a box of dryer sheets to find out which specific chemicals are in it, you might not see them. Cleaning product makers have to list only the ingredients that are active disinfectants or known to be hazardous.

Some safety advocates warn that this policy is a problem, because certain studies have shown that dryer sheet makers may use chemicals that are dangerous for people to ingest or inhale. One such study conducted by a University of Washington professor in 2007 showed that in a group of six scented laundry products and air fresheners, every one made use of chemicals typically considered toxic or hazardous but didn’t include them on the label. Only one of those products was a dryer sheet, however, and the only two toxic chemicals it gave off were ethanol (also known as alcohol) and alpha-pinene, a fragrance known to be a moderate irritant.

The amounts of these kinds of chemicals used on dryer sheets are small, but many people still prefer not to use them on children’s clothes, or at all. If you’d prefer to use an alternative to a standard dryer sheet, read to learn more about potentially healthier or cheaper options.

You’ve decided to get rid of your standard dryer sheets and try something else. But again, there’s a cornucopia of choices, including reusable sheets, fabric softeners, dryer balls and gentler detergents. Even a kitchen staple –vinegar– makes the list.

Before choosing which option is right for you, think first about what you’re trying to accomplish. Remember, dryer sheets offer three main advantages: eliminating static, softening clothes and adding a fragrance. If you want the first two but not the last, several companies already make fragrance-free dryer sheets aimed at people with allerigies or other skin conditions.

If you want an eco-friendly option, some companies offer products labeled as “natural,” but this could mean any variety of things. The government doesn’t regulate these claims, so there is no guarantee that these products are any different from others. Even natural products won’t satisfy everyone, though, and environmentally-conscious consumers might also object to disposable single-use dryer sheets and instead prefer a reusable option. Here are some popular choices:

The makers of dryer balls claim that these rubbery orbs not only soften clothes and stop static, but also reduce drying time. Balled-up aluminum foil and tennis balls have been suggested as frugal — albeit less-effective — alternatives.

Reusable sheets are often a piece of specially knitted polyester that has no or few chemicals or fragrances. Some stores also sell scented sachet bags, and you may find other reusable options.

You can create your own homemade sheets by soaking squares of cloth in fabric softener or even hair conditioner. However, these probably won’t work as well as commercial sheets.

Some people prefer to pour a bit of white vinegar onto their clothes during the washing machine’s rinse cycle. As with fabric softener, vinegar can soften clothes, and it has a mild anti-static effect. As a bonus, vinegar works well to get rid of mildew.

Bob Dougherty owns Dryer Vent Wizard, specializing in dryer vent cleaning, dryer vent repair, dryer vent installation for homes and businesses in Long Island, NY.

Hicksville Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard is a Force for Neighborhood Safety

Dryer vent installation and regular dryer vent cleaning service by a qualified dryer exhaust technician is critical to dryer fire prevention and energy savings

Hicksville NY – The Hicksville Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard is dedicated to promoting public awareness about the danger associated with poorly vented clothes dryers. The U. S. Fire Administration reports over 17,000 dryer fires each year with failure to clean dryer vents being the number one cause.

Bob Dougherty, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard in Nassau County works to promote public awareness about dryer fire prevention and energy savings through dryer and dryer vent maintenance. Bob provides an import home service while informing his customers about their dryer vent system. Bob enjoys the friendly conversation while he works and provides tips for keeping their family safe from dryer fires.

About 80% of Americans have clothes dryers, and many are unaware of the necessity of dryer vent cleaning service to prevent fires and improve dryer performance.

The Hicksville Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard says all dryer vent systems require maintenance, no matter how old the dryer is or what type of system is in the home. The newer, energy efficient models can cause more lint to build up in the dryer vent line. Second story laundry rooms and larger homes require longer dryer vent runs which cause dryers to work harder to expel heat from tumbling laundry. In many cases, the dryer vent itself is considered a fire hazard because it doesn’t current safety standards.

The Hicksville Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard urges area residents to have their dryer vent system inspected and serviced regularly. Dryer vent cleaning prevents dryer fires, reduces energy costs and improves dryer performance.

Service by the Wizard provides peace of mind knowing the dryer operates safely and efficiently. Bob Dougherty is a force for neighborhood safety, providing residential and commercial dryer vent servicein Nassau County, Hicksville, Old Westbury and nearby cities and communities.

Hicksville Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard Awarded for High Percentage Sales Increase

Great for Business; Great for the Neighborhood! Bob Dougherty makes a positive difference, promoting dryer safety and energy savings

Hicksville, NY – The local Dryer Vent Cleaning Wizard has made a remarkable difference in his community by providing an important home maintenance service while educating area residents. More than 17,000 dryer fires are reported each year with failure to clean dryer vents a leading cause.

Bob Dougherty, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard in Nassau County was presented an award for the highest percentage sales increase at the annual Dryer Vent Wizard convention. “High sales increase is good for business and good for area residents who enjoy peace of mind knowing their dryer operates safely and efficiently,” said Dougherty. “More sales means less dryer fires which is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Dryer Vent Wizard specializes in cleaning, repairing and installing new dryer vent systems while educating consumers about dryer fire prevention and energy savings. The Wizard explains to all his customers how dryer vent cleaning prevents dryer fires, improves dryer performance and helps reduce energy cost. Poorly vented clothes dryers can cost an additional $300 per year to operate. Clothes dryers are the most likely appliance to cause a fire and gas dryers can be a carbon monoxide hazard when not properly vented.

The Wizard enjoys a rewarding career, building positive relationships with loyal customers who use his service every year. Bob Dougherty also enjoys many referrals as his happy customers remind family and friends to maintain their dryer vent system for safety and efficiency.

Dryer Vent Wizard has 60 independently owned franchises in the US. Bob Dougherty serves residents and business owners in Nassau County, Jericho, Long Beach and neighboring cities and communities.