The average dryer can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years, depending on when you first purchased it and how well you have maintained it. The best way to make it last its longest is to use it correctly and get regular maintenance. It will keep your dryer functioning properly, and it will also give you the best results when it actually comes to drying your laundry. For a comprehensive guide on a long-lasting dryer, read below.
Proper Dryer Care
Maintaining good care of your dryer is the most essential step in extending your dryer’s longevity. Ensure you’re getting the most out of your appliance by following these very simple steps:
Reading the instruction manual
It’s easy to think that using our dryers just involves throwing our wet clothes into the machine, closing the door, and starting the cycle on our favorite settings. However, there are different setting options for a reason. Giving your instruction manual a thorough read is the first step in improving your dryer’s performance.
Dividing Your Loads by Fabric
To give your clothes a faster, more even dry, consider dividing them by fabric weight. Dry lightweight fabrics and heavyweight fabrics in medium, separate loads. This will ensure that they all get a thorough and even dry. It reduces the risk of mold and mildew buildup by preventing damp soaks through your dryer.
Keeping Your Dryer Clean
Keep your dryer clean by removing lint after each tumble. Lint can get trapped in the cracks and crevices of your dryer, particularly in the door seals. Even small amounts of lint lead to buildups over time, and can cause problems with your dryer’s efficiency. Making it harder on your dryer like this creates longer drying times and contributes to the growth of mold, as well as smellier, wet clothes.
Lint can also be found inside the dryer vent, situated at the back of the machine. For reduction of fire hazards and performance issues, check for lint inside the vent once a year. This will significantly reduce the chance of buildup.
Reduce Heat and Drying Times
Contrary to popular belief, high heat settings aren’t always necessary for every article of clothing. Loads also take different drying times, either due to their fabric or weight or the size of your load. Save energy and avoid the chance of damaged clothes by reducing your heat setting and shortening your dryer times if you’re home all day. You can start with a 40-minute cycle on low heat and see how your clothes turn out after their tumble. If your load is still not dry, place them back in the dryer on a 10-minute cycle, rather than going for another full-cycle wash.
Consider Air Drying Your Clothes
Air drying not only gives your clothes a chance to breathe; it also prevents your dryer from breaking down prematurely. It also helps prolong the lifespan of your clothing. Giving your hardware a break here and there will allow it to weather more usage, as overuse can kill its lifespan just as easily as improper maintenance.
Make Sure Your Dryer Is Professionally Installed
Installation by a professional is crucial for any appliance. The same is true of dryers.
They must be stored on level ground, which restricts their movement and keeps their pipes and plugs installed properly.
Proper venting is also critical when it comes to dryers. Selecting the correct size and materials for your venting tube allows proper airflow for your dryer’s performance.
Additionally, you will want to ensure the pipe size for your dryer is correct, as using the wrong size can lead to air not getting through to the drying chamber. This will prevent clothes from being dried properly, leading to mold and mildew growth.
Have a Look at Your Dryer Vent
The dryer vent is the drum that sucks lint and moisture from the dryer and out of the house. It is essential to keeping your dryer working properly. To check it, clean and inspect your dryer once a year for signs of blockages, buildups of lint, and too much moisture. If the dryer vent is not regularly maintained, you could be setting yourself up for a fire hazard.
Overusing Your Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are wonderful tools for fresher, better-smelling clothes, but overuse can lead to a waxy coating, both on your clothes and within the dryer. This can block smaller parts of the appliance, such as the door seal, crevices, and cracks. If left in, they can melt in the dryer. Use one or two dryer sheets every two loads, and make sure you are consistently looking out for lint.
Additional Tips for Getting Rid of Lint
Lint doesn’t just hide on the surface of your laundry and within the dryer. You should also be removing the lint trap and soaking it in hot, sudsy water every few months. Do this more often if you typically use fabric softener in your washing machine, as fabric softener can also leave a thick, sudsy residue within your dryer. This residue is a common cause of mold and mildew buildup and can wear your dryer down way past its expiration date.
Properly maintaining your dryer means you can depend on excellent quality for many more years. If you follow these simple steps, you, too, can make the most out of your drying appliance. By properly maintaining, cleaning, and checking over your load sizes, settings, and distribution of fabrics, you are already saving. By drawing out your dryer’s longevity, you can save on energy costs, money in the bank, and effort typically wasted on repairs and replacements.