Condo Living

June 9, 2022 Published by Grand River Chapter - By Patrick Stradiotto

Do Dryers and Other Home Exhaust Vents Pose a Health and Safety Risk?

Wiarton Willie told us that spring was going to come early. For birds migrating back to Ontario, this means one thing, it is time to find a nesting place.

Wiarton Willie told us that spring was going to come early. For birds migrating back to Ontario, this means one thing, it is time to find a nesting place. 
CCI Grand River. Home Exhaust Vents. Nesting. Condo tips. Condo safety.

As we all know eager nesters seek refuge for their soon-to-come hatchings in safe, sheltered areas. Dryer vent caps, stove exhausts, and air exchange vents are ideal locations because they are warm and sheltered from predators. A faulty or damaged vent cap or missing louvers can increase the odds you will have a new family member. 
As birds begin building nests, they pull nesting debris back up in vent lines clogging the exhaust’s path. Clogged lines for dryers can cause lint to build up back in the system and eventually into the dryer itself, potentially leading to a FIRE HAZARD. 

Not only can it pose a fire risk, but partially clogged dryer vents can also result in excess energy usage. Noting, the average load of laundry will exhaust 1.5 to 2.2 liters of water before its drying cycle is complete. Inefficiencies can drive monthly utility expenses up an additional $25 to $35 per month. 

If you have been noticing moldy smells coming from the dryer, bathroom or stovetop exhausts chances are the root cause could be clogging in the line. As birds and rodents nest, inherently, they also continually deposit their droppings in the vent line causing unpleasant odors and health issues. Potentially leading to the infestation of mites. 

Though exhaust can pose a health and safety risk, it’s extremely important to acknowledge it is preventable and issues can be addressed relatively inexpensively. Having exterior vent caps and exhaust vent lines professionally inspected, repaired, or cleaned regularly can prevent these potential risks. It’s key to restore optimal velocity in airflow, ensure integrity in the exhaust structure, and the proper operation of exterior vent caps.

As the spring season continues to evolve, consider investing in the maintenance and optimal performance of exhaust venting. A couple of simple tips for Property Mangers to check off their maintenance list: 

  1. Walk the property site completing a visual inspection of the exterior vent caps. Looking for nesting debris in the caps and/or damaged caps, missing flaps.
  2. Speak to each board member individually to ask about their individual dryers’ drying time. It should be less than 55 minutes on a regular load free of moldy smells or overheating.
  3. Review the property’s dryer vent line maintenance cleaning plan. When was the last execution date and what was the plan? Noting the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office recommends annual cleaning for everyone.
  4. Be proactive. A simple inspection and diagnosis from a trained professional could save owners money and KEEP them SAFE! 

Together, Let’s Get the Lint Out.

Patrick Stradiotto, Owner
Dryer Vent Wizard


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