Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why so much lint?

Pandora's box of lint...
It seems that the road of home ownership can never be smooth. Life in the money pit hit a speed bump about a year ago when our next door neighbour asked me: "why so much lint"? It seems that our dryer vent has been expelling excessive amounts of lint, which must be a real burden since we dry about two loads of laundry every week. Our little money pit is built right on the property line, so the walkway beside our house is owned exclusively by the neighbours, and they don't allow us to use it. Our dryer vents into this narrow three foot walkway, very close to the ground.

I live in a neighbourhood where cleanliness is very important. Hosing down your sidewalk and concrete front yard with fresh potable water is a daily ritual. It helps to "freshen it up", as my neighbour explained to me. In the summer, the issue of the lint returned, and I noticed that they'd leaned a large 12" x 12" tile up against the house, so that the dryer air would hit the tile first, possibly trapping more of this vexing dryer lint.

Last week we couldn't figure out why the clothes weren't drying, so during the super bowl game, I went outside to discover a brick blocking the dryer vent. Needless to say, this is a real fire hazard! Today I went outside before starting the dryer and the brick was back, firmly in place, keeping the vent closed. Lint. Who knew it was so much trouble? I had ignored the first complaint as it was just days after the devastating earthquake in Haiti and I though that relatively this was not a problem. However, if my house burns down because they've blocked my dryer vent  it could become a more serious issue - especially the fire spreads to their house, just three feet away.

I spent some time on the internet and found these secondary lint filters. I want to install one but couldn't find any for sale in the DIY hardware stores. I will have to order one online from the US or call around to some HVAC contractors. What a hassle. But, that's what you've gotta do to keep the peace (and reduce the risk of fire) in Little Italy.

Let me know if you have any leads on where to buy a metal dryer lint trap.