Your clothes dryer is one of many hard-working appliances in your home that you rarely have to think about. You simply put your just-washed clothes in, push a button, and walk away. Less than an hour later you can come back to freshly tossed, dry clothes. By following these practical pointers, you can ensure your dryer is in tip-top shape and lessen the chance of an issue down the road. With just a little extra care and attention to how you use it, you may be able to expect 10 or more years of excellent performance out of your dryer.
Here are some tips to help you accomplish that:
- Limit your use of fabric softener sheets to just one per load. If you use too many, excess, gum-like liquids may come off of them and become adhered to the inside of the dryer.
- Clean the exhaust hose several times throughout the year. Blocked hoses can cause your dryer to overheat and become damaged. Even worse, they can cause house fires.
- Clean the vent area beneath the removable filter. Buy a brush specially designed for this task at your local hardware store. It only takes a minute to do and will ensure extra dust, dirt, and lint doesn’t accumulate.
- Don’t cram it full of clothing. Dryers work best when a normal-sized load of laundry is being tumbled, as opposed to just one or two items; however, never stuff it completely full. This will block air from moving freely and can lead to performance issues or a break.
- Don’t put dripping-wet clothes in the dryer. Make sure they have gone through one or more spin cycles in the washing machine or that you have hand-wrung out articles before placing them in the dryer.
- Clean the lint filter after every load of laundry. Don’t allow the tray to become completely full because this will block the flow of air and can be a fire hazard.
- Wipe down the inside of the dryer. Every month or two, clean the surface using a sponge and warm, soapy water.
There’s one final tip for homeowners who are eager to get a long life from their dryer while also shaving a few dollars off their energy bills. Consider hanging clothes out to dry in the sun instead of using the dryer 100% of the time. You can make it a part of your weekend routine, getting some sun, helping the environment, and reducing your energy consumption all in one smart move!