Not only is a dryer a functional appliance in any home, it can also be hazardous if it’s not cleaned frequently and kept up with. Do you check in on your dryer often? If not, you may want to start to!
Lint, dust, and clothing fibers all build up cycle after cycle in your dryer’s filter, exhaust hose, and vents. To ensure this debris doesn’t enflame from the dryer’s hot temperatures (which can get even hotter when air circulation is poor from blocked lint and fibers), follow these easy tips for cleaning and maintaining your dryer. Your dryer and your home will thank you.
1. Empty the lint filter on a regular basis
Your lint filter, lint trap, or lint screen, is a filter found in every dryer that collects a lot of the lint your clothes produce as they dry and can easily be disposed of. We recommend that you remove the lint buildup from the filter between every cycle or use. By removing this linty-film, you’re promoting proper airflow and helping to prevent overheating of your dryer.
2. Replace or upgrade your hose when necessary
First things first. If you current dryer hose is made from vinyl, we suggest you consider replacing the hose with an aluminum one. Vinyl hoses are very restrictive, can even melt, and don’t meet current US federal fire safety standards but are still found in some older dryer models. The hose helps carry water vapor and hot air outside of your home, so without a properly functioning one, a number of issues can occur.
3. Check in on your ventilation and exhaust
Every few months, you should go outside to where your dryer vent exhausts, and examine airflow while your dryer is running. Air should easily escape the vent and blow out in a continuous stream. If the airflow is restricted or feels weak, you’ll want to make sure no visible debris or other items are blocking the exhaust vent.
If the airflow still seems to be restricted with no apparent cause on the outside of the vent, the issue could be coming from within the exhaust ductwork. If this does seem to be the case, we urge you to hire a professional to disassemble and clean the ductwork or troubleshoot what may be wrong.
4. Monitor drying cycles
When you first purchase a new, efficient dryer, the time it takes to thoroughly dry your loads will be minimal. But after years of use, the drying cycles may begin to take longer or extra rounds through the dryer may be required. If your loads start taking longer than usual to dry, that’s a sign your dryer vent may be getting clogged. If this seem to be the case, we recommend you clean the lint filter and venting system as soon as possible to prevent a potential fire. If the problem doesn’t stop after this, it may be time to replace your dryer or call in an expert to take a look at everything.
5. Vacuum and clean out the dryer regularly
If it’s easy to open up your dryer and access the internal components, you may want to do so every one to three years and vacuum out the internal workings. Be sure to unplug your dryer before taking things apart. In addition to cleaning internal pieces, always check your dryer for other dirt or debris inside the main chamber. When you’re ready to clean out your dryer, we recommend using a vacuum to simply suck everything out and get any dirt or debris that has been hanging around.
Have other issues with your dryer or need a professional to troubleshoot what’s wrong? Bear is happy to help! You can schedule your service with us today for those in the Lancaster, Chester, and Delaware County areas.