Dryer vents may seem like a very “niche” question, but as more and more businesses try to stay afloat they are branching into aspects of service they may not fully understand. For instance, have you ever been to a neighborhood coffee shop, only to discover you could have cleaned your quilt while sipping your latte?
That coffee shop owner may have little or no experience in maintaining commercial laundry equipment, but saw a way to boost traffic into his business and generate a little extra cash flow. Or perhaps you own a sports equipment store, and need a way to get those trade-ins smelling better?
Again, commercial laundry equipment is the way to go, and, as the saying goes, “Every dollar spent in maintenance saves $2 or more down the road.” So, once the equipment is professionally installed, what do you need to know?
How do you know when it’s time to have dryer vents cleaned? And, can you do this yourself?
This article will answer those questions as well as give you pro tips to keep costs low.
1. First and foremost, know what type of machines you have and what the recommended maintenance schedule is.
Some dryers are more or less the same as a residential model, except with a coin operation feature. Other dryers are genuinely built for commercial use and have a very different operation.
Ducting and vents are much larger for these type of units, and may need attention less often. Every drying unit has a lint capture area that should be cleaned out at least daily, if not more often.
Pay attention to drying times when the machines are newly installed, and have them maintained when those times start to rise.
2. Secondly, understanding your machines will help you to know when the right time is for cleaning and maintenance.
If you have been regularly cleaning out the lint traps, the machines will be functioning optimally, they will not heat up the room too much, you will only smell the fabric softeners, and drying times will be consistent. You should also be seeing a consistent charge on your energy bill.
When the ductwork has a buildup of lint inside, your machines are working much harder to push the damp and lint-filled air through them. If your clients begin to complain that their towels take much longer to dry than usual, it’s time to check those vents.
Some vents can be visually inspected where they exit on the outside of the building. If you notice lots of debris clinging to the vent, chances are very good the whole duct is clogged.
3. Finally, is it a good idea to attempt this yourself?
Each business owner must decide how much risk they are willing to absorb. If your duct system is short and simple, and you have experience with duct cleaning, you might decide to consult a professional the first few times, and then attempt it yourself.
However, keep in mind that dryer vent fires can be business destroyers, and having professionals care for it keeps your liability low.