Do you like wearing damp clothes? Didn’t think so. Okay, then — how do you feel about clotheslines? Not great? Then dryers are probably an important part of your laundry routine. However, if you own a dryer yourself then it’s critical to take good care of it. Routine dryer maintenance will make your life easier in a number of important ways.
Read on and learn how!
The Benefits of Proper Dryer Maintenance
Here are just a few of the perks you can enjoy if you put in the effort to take care of your machine:
- Fire Safety
The lint that collects in your dryer can catch fire if not removed from various parts of the machine on a regular basis. Pet hair, dust, and other materials commonly found in dryers can pose fire hazards as well. While dryer fires aren’t exactly common, they’re certainly a risk that needs to be avoided. We’ll teach you how to prevent them by taking a few easy steps in the next section of this piece.
- Fewer Emergency Repairs
Proper dryer care will prevent sensitive internal components from breaking down, which usually requires professional repair services. Calling in pros to replace worn-out belts or broken motors can be expensive, so you’ll save a lot of money by using your machine properly and going easy on these parts.
- Lower Energy Bills
A well-maintained dryer uses less energy to dry each load, which keeps your electric bills low. Want to save money? Take care of your dryer. What else is there to say?
- Better Dryer Performance
Perhaps the best reason to follow the tips below is also the simplest one: your dryer just works better when you keep it in good condition. Save time and enjoy dryer clothes faster when you regularly do the little things that prevent common dryer problems.
Top Tips for Dryer Maintenance
We’ve collected some of the most important tips for do-it-yourself dryer maintenance and listed them here for your convenience. Make sure you’re doing your part to keep your dryer running smoothly by going down the following list and applying these simple pieces of advice.
- Check Your Lint Trap
The lint trap in your dryer catches lint, pet hair, and other particulates that fall off of your clothes while they’re spinning; however, because lint is highly flammable you need to make sure you’re removing it from the trap on a regular basis. Brushing off the lint trap each time you use the machine will help your dryer last longer, reduce your energy bills by making the unit more efficient, and allow your clothes to dry faster. However, you should also scrub and rinse down your lint trap with warm and soapy water every three months or so to remove particles that might not be noticeable at first glance. Doing so will greatly reduce the risk of the lint in your trap igniting when the machine is blowing hot air all over your clothes.
- Clean the Exhaust Vent
Dryers use exhaust vents to remove moisture from inside the unit while your clothes are spinning and send it outside your building, where it can evaporate into the atmosphere. However, sometimes lint that makes it past the trap can collect inside the vent. You might not think that fires could start in a vent used to remove moist air but remember - your machine still creates a lot of heat, and lint burns very easily. It’s a good idea to remove the vent from the rear of the machine and clear out any debris from it at least once every two years.
- Don’t Forget the Vent Cap
All the air moving through your exhaust vent has to go somewhere, and the vent cap outside your building is what releases it into the outdoors. Unfortunately, vent caps can easily become blocked by weeds that grow up in front of it, branches that fall from nearby trees, animal nests, and other environmental features. We recommend a quick walk past your vent cap each week to make sure it’s unobstructed. If you’re going out on an errand, just take a peek and move any offending materials at least a few feet away — it’s a simple way to keep your dryer efficient and safe.
- Fill the Drum (But Not All the Way)
It’s tempting to try drying your clothes all at once to save time — but you definitely won’t be saving money if you overstuff your machine. Loads that are too large almost never dry evenly and may require you to run the machine more than once, effectively doubling the amount of power needed to finish them. They can also strain important components and cause the motor in your dryer to overheat. On the other hand, drying only a few items at a time wastes considerable amounts of energy. For best results, fill the drum up to somewhere between one half and two-thirds of its total capacity.
- Clean Out the Drum Occasionally
If you use dryer sheets (and why wouldn’t you — everybody loves soft clothes!) then residue can occasionally collect inside the drum of the machine. Too much residue inside the drum can make it harder to remove moist air from inside the unit and pass it out through the exhaust vent, reducing your dryer’s efficiency. The solution is pretty simple though: just put a bit of rubbing alcohol on a microfibre cloth and wipe down the inside of the drum. You can also use a solution composed of one-half white vinegar and one-half water. We recommend doing this once per month.
Love Your Dryer and It Will Love You Back
A well-maintained dryer makes laundry easier, more affordable, and safe. Dryer care isn’t terribly complicated, either — in most cases, all you have to do is unscrew a few things, clean them, and use the machine responsibly. Doing so will allow you to avoid the potential disasters that can result from shoddy dryer care, and leave you satisfied whenever you need to dry your clothes or sheets. You’ll also be able to save money for the few times in every dryer’s lifespan when professional service is required — and ensure that you only spend money on such things when absolutely necessary.
If you are concerned about your dryer, contact Certified Appliance Repair Ottawa