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How to Clean Your Dryer Vent and Other Quick Tips

Protect Your Clothes and Possibly Your Home and Family — With These Easy Tips

When you don’t take care of your dryer, you can run into several issues including longer dry times, which leads to shrunken clothes and heat-damaged fabrics. It can also increase your electric bills and cost you more money since the dryer is the least energy efficient appliance in your home!

Another symptom of poor dryer maintenance is that your dryer’s automatic cycles may become uncalibrated which leads to damp clothes or over-dried clothing. 

Finally, a dryer that has not been maintained is a serious fire hazard. Statistics show that nearly 7,000 fires, 200 injuries, and 10 deaths are attributed to dryer fires every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Clogged dryer vents are the leading cause of the blazes. 

Here’s how to get the most our of your dryer when it comes to performance, efficiency, and safety in a few simple steps: 

  1. Empty the Lint Screen

    This needs to happen every time you use the dryer. Every Single Time. If you allow lint to build up on the screen, headed dryer air won’t move through the machine, which will extend drying times.

  1. Clean the Dryer Vent

    Even if you empty the lint screen every time you use the dryer, small fibers will still get through the trap and into your dryer vent. Over time, this lint can slowly begin to accumulate, to the point where even the smallest of sparks could lead to a serious fire inside the dryer vent. That’s why it’s essential to empty out the dryer vent every few months, depending on how much you use your dryer.

    It’s a pretty simple task, assuming you can just pull the dryer away from the wall a few feet. Always unplug the dryer from the power source or disconnect it from your circuit breaker. Then, separate the vent from the dryer and use a vacuum to clean it out.

  2. Clean the Moisture Sensors

    Most high-quality dryers all have moisture sensors that work with auto-dry cycles to determine how damp the laundry is, and to turn off the machine when the clothes are dry. After use, these sensors can get covered with film, especially if you are using dryer sheets. This buildup prevents the dryer from knowing when your laundry is dry, leaving it damp or over-dried.

    To fix this, clean the sensors with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol a few times a year. The sensors are located just inside the dryer, underneath the door. Look for thin metal bars, about 6” long, with a slight curve that follows the contour of the door. Check your owner’s manual for their exact location.

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If you would like more information about Thomasville Homes Restoration, or to get a quote, give us a call at (410) 360-1075.

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