Stop Putting Dryer Sheets in Air Vents
While dryer sheets are often advertised as all-purpose odor absorbers, they are actually only suitable for the dryer. This may seem like an easy and cost effective way to reduce odors coming from the vents in your HVAC, but it’s a bad idea. Some even claim that dryer sheets will extend the life of your air filters, but sadly, this is not the case. There are several reasons why you should n’t use dryer sheets in any of your HVAC vents.
Chemicals in dryers can adversely affect your health.
According to the National Institutes of Health , chemicals used as fragrances in laundry detergents can trigger asthma and migraine attacks, as well as eye, skin, and throat irritation. Since the dryers are thrown outside, these odors are mostly from the air in your home. However, if you deliberately distribute them internally, they will be present in higher concentrations. Manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients in flavored products, so you don’t need to know which irritants, some of which are classified by the EPA as hazardous air pollutants, are present in your drying sheets.
Dryer sheets are a fire hazard when used in an air vent.
Unless medical risks discourage you from using dryer sheets in your HVAC, be aware that restricting airflow at the vent can cause a fire. Anything blocking the vents in your HVAC system can cause the fan to overheat due to overloading the machine. This can ignite and ignite anything in the vents, including dust and debris such as dryer sheets that have entered the vents. The National Fire Protection Association lists heating equipment as the number one cause of home fires, so it’s important to keep it away from hazards and obstructions.
They will increase utility bills and repair costs.
Even if you don’t start a fire, any obstruction of the HVAC vents can increase your utility bills as the fan has to work harder to move air through the system. Your energy bill will go up and the efficiency of the fan assembly will decrease, leaving your system more expensive and doing less work. Increasing the load on the air circulation system can also shorten the life of your HVAC system, making it necessary to repair or replace it sooner. If the dryer sheet is completely sucked into the air filter, it will remain there until you remove it, obstructing airflow and potentially damaging the fan. One of the best things you can do to lower your utility bills is to keep your air vents clean, including your dryer sheets.
What to do about HVAC system odors
If the air from your HVAC system smells bad, it could be a sign that maintenance is needed. Cleaning and checking the vents and making sure there is no buildup of moisture where it shouldn’t be is a better solution than using a dryer sheet. Mold and mildew can be harmful to your health, so hiding an odor instead of fixing the cause can be dangerous. By keeping the vents clean, you can use essential oil mixed with water sprayed onto the vents to improve the smell in your home without damaging your system – just make sure your essential oil is free of lung or eye irritants.