Commercial Dryer Vent Cleaning and Indoor Air Quality
Sometimes, it’s the unseen factors that affect how tenants and their guests evaluate their experience with a commercial property. One of those factors is the quality of the air inside a building, whether that be a single-unit residential property or a multi-unit complex. Compromised, stale air can have negative effects on clients and tenants.
This is particularly true when commercial dryer vent cleaning hasn’t been conducted on a regular and necessary basis. That’s because this important part of daily living can be a potential source of respiratory irritants. Particles from the dryer vent system can end up circulating in the building, causing problems.
And a dryer vent system can become a major source of these particles. After all, a single-unit occupant may run over 275 loads of laundry a year and put 250 loads into their dryer. Even in multi-unit buildings where residents run fewer loads per year, the amount of particulates produced can be significant. In cases where the commercial dryer vent is operating improperly, compromised air can be circulated well beyond the laundry room.
We Don’t Love Lint
Over the past thirty years, the migration away from all-cotton apparel and home textiles has continued to accelerate. In fact, much of what’s worn and subsequently laundered is comprised of polyester-based fabrics. The data show 60% of clothing pieces include polyester, with a 157% increase between 2000 and 2015. That is 21.3 million tons per year being worn, washed, and frequently dried in electric, gas, and propane dryers.
Polyester, particularly when processed into fleece or lined fabrics, sheds particles steadily. Not only highly flammable when subjected to heat in a poorly maintained commercial dryer vent system, these molecules can easily become airborne. According to research by J.L. Pauly and others, inhaled plastic fibers, which are “bioresitant and biopersistent” are candidate agents contributing to the risk of lung cancer. Even more evident is the odor retention of polyester that needs to be pushed out through the ducting.
Between polyester and other textiles, the production of irritants from the drying process is a contributor to reduced indoor air quality. These factors are another reason why Fresh Sweeps ability to implement comprehensive commercial dryer vent cleanings are so important: eliminating the majority of particles from laundry room air and the entire building is good for everyone.
Cleaner Air Starts with Proper System Operation
Fresh Sweeps recognizes that commercial property owners and managers aren’t experts in dryer vent systems and their proper functioning. To assist them, the local certified field technician is expert in locating the causes of poor air quality, compromised dryer operation, and the warning signs of commercial dryer vent fires. Among these are ten common complications to safe and efficient operation that are considered during every dryer vent cleaning call.
1. Dust Connections Are Loose or Misaligned such that dryer vent exhaust is not channeled properly into the ducting system.
2. Inferior System Assembly or Maintenance creates the potential for problems and increases the need for proper – and regular – commercial dryer vent cleaning to help compensate.
3. Flexible Ducting is Compressed or Crushed behind the dryer appliance, forcing hot, particle-laden air back into the dryer itself.
4. Corrugated Piping Creates Lint ‘Dams’ that restrict air flow as they build up flammable, unwanted material with each drying cycle.
5. Excessive Turns in the Ducting once again slow air movement, increasing back-pressure and “stalling” particles from being pushed out.
6. Long Duct Runs increase the potential for insufficient movement of exhaust air from the dryer itself to outside venting.
7. Poor Screening doesn’t allow the dryer’s lint capture system to function properly to trap larger particles early in the process.
8. Dramatic Lint Accumulation creates a “plugging” effect that can turn an otherwise-functional system into a dangerous situation requiring intervention.
9. Stuck or Sticking Vent Flap means the system will fail to perform efficiently and safely no matter how new the dryer is.
10. Bird and Animal Nests can’t often be readily identified by those using the dryer or even maintaining the building’s exterior.
Fresh Sweeps Means a Fresh Start
Cleaner, safer air. Better dryer performance. Safer dryer operations with reduced risk of a devastating fire. Three reasons why calling to schedule a commercial dryer vent cleaning is today’s smartest decision for property owners and managers.