What to do about a dryer that is taking too long to dry.
Think airflow. If you don’t, you could be shouting “Fire!”
A dryer that is struggling to dry your clothes is a warning that you need to take action. The things that cause slow drying are also in the top 10 causes of house fires!
There are some things you can do yourself. For others you may need to call a professional. Either way, please do not ignore this problem.
- “But I clean the lint filter every load!”
Excellent! But don’t stop there. Lint screens only catch the larger lint. The fine lint gets past the screen and builds up inside the dryer and/or the venting. This lint build up costs you money in utility costs due to longer drying times, extra wear and tear to the dryer-plus, extra wear and tear to the clothes inside the dryer. And, lint causes house fires!
- Vent hoses should be as short as possible, clean, as straight as possible, not restricted, blocked, bent or kinked. Air must flow freely from the dryer to the outside of your home.
- The dryer may “look better” pushed back against the wall, or shoved into the closet, but it can’t breathe. If the venting is blocked or smashed, it costs you more money-and risk of fire.
- Leave the laundry room door partially open if it is in and enclosed area. This allows the dryer to pull in fresh in as it pushes the damp air out.
- If your dryer lint screen is inside the dryer door, lint falls off the screen and blocks air flow in that area. If you cannot get to the lint buildup, call a professional to take the dryer apart and clean it out for you.
- If you use liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets, you will need to scrub your lint screen every 6-12 months. Use hot soapy water and a scrub brush to remove the nearly invisible wax buildup. This buildup also blocks airflow, making your dryer work harder and costing you more $$. A great alternative to softeners and sheets are Dryer Balls. They cost less then $10, are environmentally friendly, chemical, scent and wax-free, leave no build up and they last for years.
- The exterior vent louver or flapper door should be checked and cleaned monthly. It is either saving you money or costing you money. If it opens freely and lets the dryer breathe, then it is working properly. The best vent out there is dryerwallvent.com. YouTube has a great video. It is not yet available at big box stores. Guaranteed Appliances does carry it.
- If your dryer vent is on the roof, the Dryerjackroof vent is an awesome replacement vent. The DryerWallvent is also amazing. Watch this YouTube video. It will show you what I cannot easily explain:
- Venting a dryer upwards is, well, problematic. To be safe, someone should go up on the roof at least once a year, take it apart and clean it. In addition, you need to pull your dryer out and clean the venting. Why? The dryer must push moisture and lint at least 15 feet straight up! Much lint stays in the venting system, causing slow drying , and, once again, increased risk of fires.
While dryers do have safety features that are designed to shut them off if it gets too hot inside the tub (because it can’t breathe), waiting until the dryer quits heating or quits running completely will cost you $150-$300 to repair the dryer. But then, you still have to fix the venting problem that caused the dryer problem to begin with.
Think airflow. Be proactive. Be safe.
Kristen The Appliance Angel