Community Insider Fall 2018 - Page 18

FUEL FOR FIRE: THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING DRYER DUCTS by Emily Whittemore, CMCA A building component that is often difficult to define as either a HOA or homeowner responsibility for maintenance, repair, and replacement are dryer ducts. While the CC&Rs will point to where this responsibility lies, there are important facts about dryer ducts that Homeowners and Associations alike should be aware of. One of the more popular forms of dryer vents in condominiums is Eccoduct, a trademarked system used for both fresh air intake and exhausting air. They can be used with bathroom fans, range hoods, and dryer vents. According to Scott Friesen, PE, President and Principal Consultant of Ivey Engineering Inc., “The company manufactures the duct with special fittings that are used to transition the duct into and out of the slab. In most cases a booster fan is installed to provide the necessary airflow for the length of the duct run and also to overcome static pressure of the duct. An appealing reason for the use of Eccoduct is to hide or conceal the duct so that additional drywall soffits or ceilings are not necessary allowing a more open style of design.” It is easy for Homeowners and their Associations to deprioritize dryer duct cleaning and maintenance. After all, out of sight, out of mind. But the accumulation of lint and debris will not only slow the efficiency of the system, it could present a life-safety issue. According to US Fire Administration, “Lint is a highly combustible material that can accumulate both in the dryer and in the dryer vent. Accumulated lint leads to reduced airflow and can pose a potential fire hazard.” When a vent does not exhaust properly due to lint build up, the lack of airflow can cause overheating of the system. Furthermore, the US Fire Administration notes that “if a dryer vent is too long or has many bends and turns, moisture in the warm air passing through it condenses on the vent surfaces, attracting lint. Eventually, the lint accumulates and creates resistance.” In order to avoid this hazard, Friesen recommends that “Dryer ducts and lint traps should be regularly inspected and cleaned as required.” Ventura Verdugo, Duct Cleaning/ 18 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER FALL 2018 201 8 Golf Classic HVAC Restoration Manager with J&M Keystone recommends cleaning ducts at least once per year, more if there is heavy use. Riverwalk Ranch | October 5th, 2018 While there are many companies that service dryer ducts, it is especially important for Homeowners and Community Managers of properties with Eccoduct systems to screen vendors for experience with this type of dryer ducting and to make sure any booster fans are also inspected. Verdugo recommends finding a company that is “licensed in the state of California, has insurance, is certified by NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association), provides written estimates, and most importantly, has good references.” To cut down on maintenance costs, Homeowners may consider negotiating a group discount if several unit’s worth of ducting can be cleaned and inspected in one day. In between annual cleanings, Verdugo states Homeowners can “clean the lint trap after each use of the dryer and replace the filter on the Eccoduct at the start of summer and again at the start of winter, twice a year.” NEW FOR 2019 Games for Non-Golfers: $75 Tickets Available Please RSVP online at www.CAI-SD.ORG, call our office at 858.836.1119 or by email at Reagan@cai-sd.org. SPONSORS Masters Hole in One Eagle Of course, Homeowners also have alternative options to this type of ducting altogether. Friesen states that a homeowner could “install a round duct to move the air from/to the outside. These ducts are generally run exposed or concealed within a drywall soffit or ceiling.” Just be sure to get approval for the installation through your Association’s Emily Whittemore is the architectural General Manager of M2i review process Homeowners Association, proudly managed by first. FirstService Residential. Hole A Plus Tree, Inc. AMS Paving Inc. Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Diversified Asphalt Products EmpireWorks Reconstruction and Painting Global Disposal Inc. Cart Breakfast Accurate Termite & Pest Control American Technologies, Inc. Diversified Asphalt Products Bloody Mary Sherwin Williams Paints Potty Shot Glass Dunn Edwards Corporation Southern Cross Property Consultants ProTec Building Services HARBRO Emergency & Restoration Heaviland Landscape Management Kriger Law Firm LaBahn’s Landscaping LandscapesUSA Massie Berman  NPG Asphalt Pacific Backflow Company, Inc. Pacific Western Bank Payne Pest Management Pro-Tech Painting Rayco Exteriors Riley Pasek Canty, LLP San Diego Roof Doctor Sherwin Williams Paints Vista Paint Corporation Western Towing Water Photography Law Offices of Richard Salpietra BDS General Contractors LaBahn’s Landscaping Patriot Environmental Laboratory PrimeCo Services, Inc. Drink Bucks Mulligan JW Cleaning Restoration Building Maintenance Perry Plumbing Heating & Air Green Bryant & French, LLP Peters & Freedman, L.L.P. /cai.sd /in/caisandiego WWW.CAI-SD.ORG | 19