Inside of a dryer

Tips to Avoid Dryer Problems

Dryer problems normally appear when the appliance runs for months without the owner performing proper maintenance. To prevent overheating, broken mechanical parts and house fires, follow these cleaning guidelines and avoid dryer problems before they occur.

Clean Out Dryer Vents

If the clothes finish their dry cycle but are still damp and musty, that’s the first sign you need intensive lint screen, vent and duct cleaning. A buildup of lint and dust in the exhaust system will contribute to a premature breakdown of the dryer’s critical machinery. Unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet or disconnect it from the gas line. Also disconnect the vent from the dryer. Since lint usually collects at either end of the ducts, use a shop vacuum or residential vacuum extension to extract all debris from the end that connects to the dryer, and repeat the process on the outside of the house, removing the vent cover and extracting all lint and debris. Reconnect the vents and power supply and run the dryer on a light cycle to fully clear out all lingering materials. Make sure snow or leaves do not block the exterior ventilation box, and no insects or small rodents nest on or near the exhaust outlet.

Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

Overloading a clothes dryer may not cause the machine to break immediately, but over time, the added weight and strain will cause excessive wear to the bearings and belts, resulting in breakdowns. Always pay attention to the instructions from the manufacturer on dryer capacity and material exclusions. Never dry cloth that has been saturated in a flammable substance – this could cause an explosion.

Assess Laundry Room Ventilation

Dryers require proper air flow to function correctly, or you might notice a sharp decrease in efficiency. Make sure the area around the dryer is clean and clear. Dust behind the dryer regularly. Slightly open the laundry room door to facilitate air flow if necessary.

Install Alert Systems

To ensure the safety of all household members, install smoke alarms in or near the laundry room. If the machine is gas-powered, install a carbon monoxide alarm to alert inhabitants of poisonous gas leaks.

Why Clean and Care for Your Dryer?

Forgetting to clean the lint screen and the attached duct work is a common problem – so common that in 2010, out of all reported fires started by clothes dryers, lack of regular cleaning was the reason for the fire 32 percent of the time. The National Fire Protection Association recorded 16,800 individual house fires in the United States in 2010 involving either a clothes dryer or a washing machine or both.

Laundry machines are a significant investment and are put to use on a daily basis in many households across America. Taking your dryer for granted and ignoring maintenance needs can end with an unwanted repair bill or worse. Take action today to prevent dryer problems and call the dependable professionals at Peter’s Appliance for individualized suggestions on how to make your dryer last for years to come.