Why you should ditch that old dryer vent

It doesn't seem especially dangerous, but a faulty dryer can burn your house down. In fact, each year in this country, more than 15,000 fires are linked to dryers.

In most cases, the culprit is a clogged vent which trapped the heat.

What sort of vent connects your dryer to the outside of your house? If it's flexible plastic or foil you really should replace it.

"You need something that's more durable and not flexible and not flammable," says Cheryl Reed with Angie's List.

Reed says because of how flexible plastic and foil vent hoses are made, they actually can trap more debris in there are it goes outside.

"If you have a smooth metal vent, there's nothing there to collect on the sides. So think about it sort of like your arteries and arterial sclerosis, you want a smooth path for that debris to get out."

If it takes more than the normal cycle to dry your clothing, your dryer vent could be clogged.

For more information

Consumer Product Safety Commission: Overheated Clothes Dryers Can Cause Fires

Underwriters Labs: Dryer Fires