Safe&Sound: If You Only Clean 1 Thing This Spring, Make It This

Who has time for spring cleaning? It’s one of those things you try to pump yourself up for by thinking about how great you feel when it’s done. But let's be honest: with work, kids, and nice weather…well, it tends to get pushed to “next weekend”.

So, I went on a quest to identify the most essential spring chores. And our NNINS home insurance claim experts were very clear that 1 home cleaning task stands out above the rest. 

One that poses potentially serious consequences for your home and the safety of your family if it’s not done.

NNINS home insurance claim expert, Justin, explains that 1000s of home fires are sparked every year from clogged dryer vents.

assets/uploads/JUSTIN_TUCK.jpgIf you’re like me, you’re thinking- but I clean out my lint trap after every load. O.k., most loads. Isn’t that good enough? 

No. Here’s why:

Your dryer is designed to exhaust heat and moisture as it dries. At the same time, small bits of escaped dust, pet/human hair, and fabric fibers travel down into the exhaust pipe to the outside. Add your favorite fabric softener to the mix and you’ve got a nasty potpourri of highly flammable build up. 


We’ve seen vent pipes that run 15, 20, even 25 FEET to the outside of homes. The longer the vent, the harder to clean. And the more susceptible to fire.

Here are some signs your dryer exhaust vent is not safely clear:

  • Your clothes are taking longer to dry. 
  • The laundry room heats up when your dryer is running.
  • Your clothes are hot to the touch after a dry cycle.
  • You’re noticing more lint your dryer's lint trap than normal.
  • You see lint sticking out of the outdoor exhaust vent
  • Your outdoor vent cover’s flaps aren’t working.


This is a job for a vent cleaning professional. For about $100-150, they’ll bring brushes and hoses that can really reach in there and get your vent pipe good and clear. On the DIY side, clean your lint trap after every load and disconnect the exhaust hose running from the dryer to the wall and give it a good cleaning every 6 months. Justin also recommends never leaving your dryer running when you leave home or overnight.

Go get this one critical chore done now and then get out and enjoy the nice weather with the fam. The other spring cleaning can wait.

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