In most homes, clothing dryers are relied upon daily. However, many people don’t realize how dangerous they can be IF you don’t properly care for them.
Every year, clothes dryers cause thousands of major residential fires in the U.S. Most problems associated with dryers are caused by lint build up or blockage in the venting system. It causes a dangerous buildup of heat and an instant fire that spreads fast.
So here are seven ways to keep your dryer working well and avoid costly repairs – and a possible fire:
1. Pay attention to drying time.
If it’s taking longer for clothes to dry, it’s likely that lint is clogging the venting system. You should clean it out at least once a year. See information about how to do that below.
2. Use aluminum tubing.
Check out your dryer’s vent tubing. Flexible white vinyl tubing is highly restrictive and no longer meets national fire code standards in the U.S. If you have white vinyl venting, replace it immediately with an aluminum equivalent such as this Semi-Rigid Vent Duct Tubing.
3. After every cycle, clean out the lint filter (a.k.a. lint trap or lint screen).
Yes, every time. It does make a difference.
A few times per year, it’s also wise to clean lint from the chute that houses the lint filter. Pieces of lint inevitably settle in there as you remove and replace the filter. This long-handle brush works well for this. You can also use this long vacuum hose attachment to do the job fast, too.
If you find that lint build up is substantial within the chute, you should disassemble the dryer and remove the lint from the dryer’s interior using a vacuum.
4. Clean out your dryer’s entire venting tube.
A venting system should be cleaned out from inside of the dryer to the outside vent cap at least once per year. Professionals can be hired for this or you can purchase a long brush or cleaning kit with instructional DVD to do it on your own and save money.
How to clean out your dryer’s venting
Our bestselling 20-foot cleaning brush enables you to easily remove lint buildup from within the entire tube.
In our homes, for extra precaution, we use Lint Alert. It monitors for lint build-up and other blockage and alerts you if there is a fire risk with your gas dryer. Does it work? Consumer Reports says yes.
5. Don’t overload it.
Read the manufacturer’s owner’s manual and follow their recommendations for loading size. Overloading your dryer with too many clothes won’t work.
6. Make sure your dryer’s level.
In order for a dryer to function properly, its legs must be set at level heights. Refer to the dryer’s owner’s manual for information on how to do this properly and safely. You may need the assistance of a second person.
7. Keep it clean.
RepairClinic has appliance cleaners that do an impressive job of removing detergent buildup.
Take a few minutes to learn more by watching our popular how-it-works videos:
Additional dryer maintenance tips
Learn something from this post? Share it!
Love saving money and DIY tips? Yep, we do, too.
Want tips and discounts delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for our free VIP email list.
Need help finding the right part? We’re here for you.
Call us at 1-800-269-2609 or click on the Live Chat button at the top of RepairClinic.com. We’re here 7 a.m. to midnight ET, every day.
Since its founding in 1999, RepairClinic.com has helped three million do-it-yourselfers save 225 million dollars in repair costs by successfully repairing appliances and outdoor power equipment on their own.
RepairClinic’s free online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with major home appliances, outdoor power equipment, HVAC equipment, water heaters, floor care, and more. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct, recommended part.
RepairClinic.com stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, snowblowers, leaf blowers, edgers and many other products.
Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.™ return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States and Canada.