Maintenance Tip: Clothes Dryer

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Warm, crisp clean clothes are the best feeling! You can’t beat the snuggly softness.

Did you know that the sock-eating monster (aka, clothes dryer) maintenance is one of the most overlooked tasks by homeowners in the US?  The National Fire Protection Agency reports that the leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was the failure to clean. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the clothes dryer uses more energy than compared to the dishwasher, clothes washer, and refrigerator.

It is time the clothes dryer got some attention!

Here are some tips to help keep you safe and energy efficient:

  • Clean your lint filter for each load.  

  • Never use the dryer without a lint filter.  This will cause lint to go all over the place inside your dryer, which is the leading cause of dryer fires.

  • Check your outdoor vent regularly to make sure it opens when the dryer runs.  This includes when it snows too. You don’t want the snow to block your dryer vent.

  • Clothes that have come in contact with flammable substances, like gasoline, paint thinner, or similar solvents should be laid outside to dry, then they can be washed and dried as usual, recommends the National Fire Protection Agency.

  • Clean the lint from your dryer vent pipe, beneath the dryer, behind the dryer, and around all the openings.  This should be done at minimum once a year. For a video by Ace Hardware on how to clean your dryer, click here.

  • Dry the right sized loads for your machine, and do not overload it.

  • Use the lowest heat setting if you have a smaller load.

  • Air dry your clothes and towels when possible.  Better yet, set up a laundry line outside for sunny days to dry your clothes.

  • Level your dryer.  If you have an off-balance dryer, that will wear out your motor and belts.  It could even spark a fire by the parts rubbing. Simply put a leveler on your dryer to ensure it is level.

  • Use Wool balls or dryer balls made for clothes dryers.  These keep clothes separated and helps clothes dry faster.

If you need help or guidance, call an appliance repair person. For recommended venders, click here.