Regularly maintaining appliances is a proven way to help them last longer and it also helps the appliance owner save money from more efficient use as well. In the case of a clothes dryer, regularly cleaning the dryer vent system is also a safety issue. In this post, we will outline how investing a small amount of time in dryer maintenance can avoid costly and potentially deadly outcomes.
The clothes dryer venting system actually begins within the dryer. Appliance owners typically find the lint trap just inside the door of their dryer, or they might have a small opening on the top of the dryer that houses part of the venting system. Encouraging every family member to clean out the lint trap before every load of laundry helps clothes dry faster, which means the dryer will use less electricity and/or gas. The lower drying times means the dryer will typically last longer as well. Especially for those who do several loads of laundry every day, the savings can add up to significant amounts.
External Dryer Vent
Part of the dryer venting system also extends from the dryer to an external vent that leads to the outside of the home or apartment. In the case of an electric dryer, the vent merely passes along excess clothing fibers but in the case of a gas dryer, venting of carbon monoxide gases occurs as well. If the vent system leading to the exterior of the home is not cleaned out on a regular basis, clothing fibers tend to build up. In some cases, the entire venting system becomes clogged, leading to an increased risk of an overheated dryer or a fire from ignition of the trapped lint.
How often the external venting system should be cleaned depends on how often the appliance is used. A household of six people will probably use their dryer a lot more than a household of only one or two individuals. Either way, the dryer venting system should be examined at least once a year. If it is very dirty, some families will want to have their system inspected more frequently.
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