At Appliance Professional, we receive numerous calls from concerned customers experiencing issues with their dryers not drying or heating properly. Often, it’s a fuse, heating element, thermistor, or blower motor that has failed, but the underlying cause is clogged dryer vents or obstructions within the dryer’s interior airflow. In this article, we want to shed light on the importance of maintaining clean dryer vents and address the potential hazards associated with lint buildup, while offering practical tips to keep your dryer running smoothly and safely.
How do clogs happen?
Lint, those small fabric particles released during the drying process, can accumulate in various parts of the dryer’s exhaust system. While the lint screen captures a significant amount of lint, it is crucial to clean it after each load to help maintain the dryer’s performance. However, some lint may find its way past the screen or around it if not properly seated, posing a risk as it travels through the exhaust system and out of the vent.
What happens when the air flow is restricted?
The accumulation of lint within the vents creates two primary problems: restricted airflow and increased fire hazard. The functioning of a dryer relies on both heat and proper airflow. When lint restricts the airflow, drying times lengthen, and you may notice other issues such as excessive steam, water leakage, extended drying cycles, or even failure to start the cycle. If left unaddressed, these problems can lead to blown fuses, resulting in a complete loss of heat or functionality.
Perhaps the most alarming consequence of lint buildup is the increased fire hazard it poses. As the airflow becomes restricted, the dryer’s temperature can rise significantly. In the presence of dry lint and reduced air circulation, the conditions become highly combustible. Unfortunately, dryer fires are a common cause of residential fires across the United States, emphasizing the critical importance of regular maintenance.
How can I prevent these issues?
So, what steps can you take to ensure the safety and efficiency of your dryer? First and foremost, clean the lint filter after every load. This simple practice goes a long way in preventing lint from accumulating in the dryer and vents. Additionally, inspect the dryer’s vent hose, ensuring it is made of 100% metal, free from kinks or tears, and of appropriate length. Avoid using plastic hoses as they pose a higher risk of fire hazards.
It is equally vital to check the exterior vent of your home. Look out for any damage, lint buildup, or potential obstructions, such as bird nests during the spring season. Lastly, consider scheduling professional duct cleaning at least once a year, especially if your vents are lengthy or contain several bends. A professional cleaning service can thoroughly remove accumulated lint and debris, optimizing the dryer’s performance and reducing fire risks. We recommend our friends at Vent Pros, a locally owned dryer vent and duct cleaning service.
At Appliance Professional, we prioritize the safety and satisfaction of our customers. We want to provide you with the knowledge and guidance necessary for proper appliance care so you don’t have to call us so often. By following these preventative measures, you can ensure a more efficient and safer drying experience and extend the life of your dryer.
Remember, a little maintenance today can go a long way in preventing potential hazards and ensuring the longevity of your dryer. In fact, you can sign up for an AP Service Plan to have your appliances checked annually and receive discounts on service calls and repairs, if needed.