Posted On 25 Dec, 2018 By Ron Imrie On What's New
9 DRYER MAINTENANCE TIPS TO LIVE BY
While there is much debate as to whether gas or electric dryers last longer, there are some things you can do to extend the life expectancy of both type of units. Dryers, like washing machines, are appliances that can greatly improve the comfort of one’s life. Being able to dry your clothes whenever you want is much more convenient than having to hang them out on the line to dry or having to go to a laundromat.
Here are nine maintenance tips you can use to improve the overall performance of your dryer, so you can continue to enjoy its benefits for many years to come.
1. Do Not Overload the Dryer
Some people think that they can squeeze two or more loads into the dryer and save time. However, the exact opposite will happen if you do this.
Overloading the dryer can actually cause it to breakdown. Your clothes need the circulation of hot air and when the dryer is stuffed, the air cannot circulate as much as it needs to in order to dry your clothes. Instead of reducing drying times, overfilling the dryer will increase them.
2. Use Liquid Fabric Softener
Although not necessary, the use of fabric softener can help to remove lint from your clothes. The less lint that is on your clothes, the less lint you have to worry about the next time you wash and dry your clothes.
Fabric softener also reduces the amount of static electricity and wrinkles that remain in your clothes. Even though dryer sheets are cheaper, they leave more residue on the inside of the dryer. This residue attracts lint, grease, and other debris that will eventually clog the filters in the dryer and reduce its efficiency.
3. Clean the Lint Filter
Lint can be lethal for dryers, that is why there are lint filters. Lint filters catch a great deal of lint during the drying process, but they do not catch all of it. Much of the lint that comes off your clothes can be found in other areas of your dryer, such as the hose and on the inside of the ventilation system.
Make it a habit to clean the lint filter and trap every time you remove a load of clothes from the dryer. It is also a good idea for you to cleanse the inside of the dryer from the back or schedule a professional cleaning at least once a year. Without regular lint removal, the motor on your dryer could burn out prematurely and even catch fire. Physically remove the lint filter and wash it in a mild cleansing solution to remove any stubborn pieces of lint. Make sure that the filter is completely dry before you replace it back into the dryer.
4. Clean the Outside of the Dryer
If you own a gas dryer, then you should turn off the gas supply before you start cleaning the outside of your dryer. Gas dryers require a light touch, especially around the hosing and gas supply lines. If your dryer is electric, it would be wise to unplug it.
Always make sure that there is enough space between the dryer and the walls. This will make it easier for you to clean and remove any lint and debris that accumulates around the appliance. Remember, the dryer needs ample space for proper ventilation. While you are cleaning around the dryer, make sure there is plenty of space between your appliance and the walls around it.
5. Clean the Inside of the Dryer
Unplug the dryer so you can inspect the inside of it. Wipe down the inside of the dryer every month. Use a mild cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water to remove any dirt and stains. You can also use an alcohol wipe to remove grease and residue from the inside of the dryer.
Without regular cleanings, the inside of your dryer will become dirty and that dirt may eventually transfer onto your clothes. Regular cleanings can keep drying times down to a minimum and ensure that your clothes don’t get damaged.
6. Clear the Venting System
Improve your dryer’s efficiency by keeping the ventilation tube and cap clean. Lint, dirt, and debris accumulate in this area and can increase drying times, the risk for fire, and your repair bills. Use a soft cloth, a feather duster, or a cleaning brush to keep the area clean.
If you find the venting system is extremely clogged with lint or if you are having a difficult time cleaning it out, then it may just be best to call a professional to do the work. These services are widely available and not too expensive. In the long-run, it’s worth paying for.
7. Monitor Your Dryer’s Performance
Every now and then, listen to your dryer as it is working. There is often a noticeable difference in the way a properly working dryer sounds in comparison to a malfunctioning one.
In some cases, it may not be easy for you to tell when there is a problem. However, if your clothes remain damp after a cycle, or seem cool to the touch immediately after a cycle, double check the lint filter. A clogged lint filter blocks the distribution of heat during the drying cycle. If the lint filter is already clear, then you need to contact a professional repair technician. It may time for the heating elements to be replaced.
Although the heating elements are different on gas and electric dryers, the function of those elements remain the same. In order to dry your clothes, the heating elements emit heat, which circulates throughout the drum on the dryer where your clothes go. The tumbling motion of the clothes while heat is produced greatly reduces the amount of time it takes for clothes to dry.
8. Balance the Dryer
The dryer can become unbalanced from prolonged use. Check to see if the dryer moves or rocks while it is in use. See if you can rock the dryer back and forth when it is not in use. If there is any movement, then there is a good chance the dryer needs to be leveled.
Most dryers have adjustable “leveling feet” at the bottom that are will allow you to level the unit easily. If your appliance doesn’t have these, you can use pieces of wood to even out the surface that your dryer sits on. This will help prevent the internal parts from prematurely wearing out.
9. Inspect the Belt
The drum of the dryer uses a belt to turn. The belt needs to be inspected for deterioration at least once a year. When there are tears and problems with the belt, the drum of the dryer will no longer turn to tumble dry your clothes. Your clothes will start to mildew from sitting in the dryer. Utilize the owner’s manual for steps on how to access the belt for inspection, or contact a technician for service.
It is not necessary for one to purchase the most expensive dryer in the market in order to get the best performance. Regular maintenance and care will keep you from having to replace your dryer anytime soon.