The dryer may be one of the most overused and underappreciated appliances we use. Most busy households do at least one load of laundry a day – that's 365 loads a year! We take for granted the hours of time and effort this machine saves us. My grandmother (b.1910) used always to tell me that the dryer was her very favorite invention of her lifetime!
So, how do we keep this appliance in tip-top shape – and how do we know when it is time to replace it?
Clean Out the Dryer
One of the most significant problems that prevents your dryer from working well is a buildup of lint. While you may be super diligent about cleaning out the lint trap, that isn't the only place where this pesky fuzz accumulates. It also winds up in the silver foil tubing that vents your dryer to the outside.
Every once in a while (think once a quarter or at the beginning of each season) you'll need to take a look inside this tubing and pull out what you can with your hands. You'll likely need a powerful vacuum to suck up the rest. It's shocking the sheer amount of lint that can accumulate here.
This is essential for your safety as well. Lint that's left unattended can clog the dryer and start a major house fire. Even if it is running fine right now, this is still an essential maintenance step to help protect one of your most significant appliances and assets.
Clean the Outside Vent
Speaking of the silver tubing – can you remember the last time you checked the outside vent for your dryer? Chances are it hasn't occurred to you to look in quite some time.
Take a peek about once a month to make sure that you don't have too much lint clogging the vent. This could result in a buildup of the same fuzz that can spark fires in other parts of the appliance.
A clogged vent can also prevent air from circulating and keep clothes from drying thoroughly. If you're unsure of how to get to your dryer vent or don't feel comfortable doing the task yourself, it's best to let the professionals do it (Hester Home Maintenance). Dryer vent cleaning isn't something that should be partially done. The safety of your home and family are at risk.
Time to Replace?
Outside of the dryer just not working, here are a few clues that your dryer may need to be replaced (or at the very least, serviced) soon:
1. Having to run each load of laundry through two dry cycles to get clothes completely dry.
2. A faint burning smell each drying cycle – maybe call service right away on this one!
3. The door popping open during the drying cycle.
4. The lint trap not fully emptying despite your efforts.
Hester Home Maintenance is available to help! With a 30+ item checklist and affordable packages, there's no excuse! Contact us today!