We love getting asked questions. Here you’ll find the answers to some of our most common questions. If you have a question that is not answered below, reach out to us at 615-791-7457 — we’re happy to help.

Why do I need to have my dryer vent cleaned?

Why is having your dryer vent cleaned so important? The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) estimates that around 16,000 home fires are caused annually by a clogged dryer vent. That is 16,000 reasons to have your dryer vent cleaned and inspected!

In response to a growing awareness of dryer safety, the CSIA is advising consumers to have clothes dryer vents inspected annually — and maintained as necessary — to help prevent fires and injuries.

“Clogged or improperly vented dryer vents can be dangerous…In response to this hazard, we recommend that consumers have a certified technician ensure that their dryer is properly vented to the outside, and that the vent is free from lint, as well as nesting rodents or birds.” — Greg Williamson, CSIA’s Executive Director

Williamson adds that dryer vent inspections (also known as clothes dryer exhaust duct inspections) are more necessary than ever before, due to the complex and technologically sophisticated construction of homes built today. Williamson states that newer houses tend to have dryers located away from an outside wall (in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and hall closets). These new locations mean dryers tend to be vented longer distances, and vents are generally installed with sharp turns and bends to accommodate the structure of the home. As a result, dryer vents are harder to reach and also create more places where lint can collect and animals and birds can hide.

The availability of natural gas dryers is another reason why dryer vent inspections are necessary. If a gas clothes dryer is improperly vented, deadly carbon monoxide can be forced back into the home.

When a certified technician inspects a dryer vent, they can also verify that the correct type of vent is in use. For example, homes with plastic vents are generally upgraded to metal exhaust vents, because aluminum hosing is safer and less flammable than plastic.

How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

Here at Sweeps & Ladders Chimney Service, we operate using the guidelines spelled out in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 code. This code states that all chimneys should be inspected by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep on an annual basis, and cleaned and maintained as needed.

When you schedule an annual inspection with one of our sweeps, we’ll carefully evaluate your chimney system and let you know whether or not it’s due for a cleaning.

Will there be a mess after having my chimney cleaned?

No, there will be no mess at all when you have Sweeps & Ladders on the job! We lay out drop cloths on the floors and surrounding furniture, and operate powerful vacuum cleaners to keep the soot and debris from entering your home.

What is involved during a chimney cleaning?

During a chimney cleaning, we clean everything from the firebox and smoke chamber to the flue. Whether you have blockages, soot buildup, nesting materials, or flammable creosote in your chimney, we’ll get rid of it. We’ll also inspect the crown/chase cover, the masonry work, the chimney cap, and the damper, and provide you with pictures of our work and our findings.

Facts & FAQs About Carbon Monoxide

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas.

Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?

Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it enters the hemoglobin in your blood 200x faster than oxygen. Exposure can be fatal.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flu-like symptoms.

What causes carbon monoxide? What are some common sources of carbon monoxide?

Any gas appliance or combustible engine will produce carbon monoxide.

What should I do when the carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, first make sure it’s not a problem with the battery. If it’s not the battery, go outside and call 911.

Will carbon monoxide alarms detect explosive gas leaks?

No, carbon monoxide alarms are one-gas monitors, and that gas is carbon monoxide.

What is the typical carbon monoxide detector life? How long will a CO alarm last?

The typical lifespan of a carbon monoxide detector is 5 years, but you should look at the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations to determine when you should replace yours.

What is the expected carbon monoxide alarm battery life?

We recommend changing the battery in your carbon monoxide alarm every six months (2x a year).

Where should I install carbon monoxide detectors in my home?

You should have at least one carbon monoxide detector on every floor and near or in every sleeping area of the home. The manufacturer’s manual that comes with your carbon monoxide detector can provide more specific advice.

Is there anywhere that I shouldn’t install a carbon monoxide detector?

It’s not recommended that you install a carbon monoxide detector in bathrooms or in rooms with a high moisture content.

Are there any guidelines on where in a room I should install my carbon monoxide detectors? How high off of the floor do they need to be?

CO is about the same weight as air, so it is typically safe to mount your carbon monoxide detector anywhere. However, we recommend mounting is wherever your detector’s user manual tells you to.

Where can I purchase a carbon monoxide detector?

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased in a variety of places. Most home improvement stores will carry them, so that’s a great place to start.

What is the proper way to do a carbon monoxide detector test?

Each manufacturer may recommend a different way of testing, so please refer to your user’s manual.

Why should I leave the carbon monoxide/CO gas detector alarm plugged in all year?

While you may only use your fireplace during certain seasons, you may have a gas appliance that you use all year, such as your water heater and stove. For this reason, it’s wise to leave the CO alarm plugged in all year.

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