The invention of a washing machine and dryer has made one of the least favorite chores more bearable. Even though hose appliances make laundry easier, many people do not really understand how to correctly maintain their washer and dryer.
Unfortunately, improper use and maintenance of the dryer can damage clothes and linens, increase energy costs, and cause dangerous fires. With this guide on common mistakes to avoid when using your dryer, you will be able to dry your clothes in the most effective, efficient, and safest manner possible.
1. Overloading the Dryer
One of the most common mistakes you may be making is overloading your dryer. You may think overloading will reduce the time and energy used to dry your clothes and linens, but the opposite is actually true.
The excess weight of an overloaded dryer will wear down its motor, bearings, and belt. Constant overloading can cause these parts to fail, resulting in a costly repair or replacement.
Also, your dryer will not be able to dry your laundry evenly if clothes and linens are stuffed into the tub. If some of the items are dry after a cycle while other pieces are still damp, this uneven drying is most likely due to overloading. This situation will cause you to run an additional cycle, which places more stress on your appliance while using more energy.
In addition, if you stuff your dryer, air will not be able to reach each piece to remove wrinkles and lint. Wrinkles and a buildup of lint will also require you to run the dryer again.
To ensure you are not overloading your dryer, make sure the load does not take up more than half of the dryer's drum.
2. Not Cleaning the Lint Trap/Dryer Vent
Over time, lint, dirt, and dust will build up inside your dryer in the lint trap and throughout the dryer vent and ducts. Cleaning this debris is important for many reasons.
If the lint remains inside the lint trap, vents, and ducts, air will not be able to move through the system properly, resulting in damp clothes, foul odors, and even mold growth. In addition, the buildup of lint, dirt, and dust inside your lint trap, dryer vents, and ductwork can also cause a fire.
Each year, an estimated 2,900 house fires are started by dryers. Many of these fires could have been prevented with proper maintenance that starts with cleaning out the lint trap, dryer vents, and dryer ductwork.
Make sure to check the lint trap before or after each load. Use your hands to remove the lint on the trap filter, and use a special dryer brush or vacuum attachment to clean out the opening where the lint trap is installed.
Periodically, disconnect all power or gas to your dryer before unsecuring the ductwork on the back of the dryer. Your vacuum attachment can be used to clean out the ductwork, as well.
You also need to clean the dryer vent located on the exterior of your home. Again, you can use your hands to reach up inside the vent to pull out any lint and debris. A vacuum attachment can also be used to clean deeper into the vent.
3. Believing your Dryer Lasts Forever
On average, most washers and dryers have a lifespan of 10 years. Thankfully, knowing the signs your dryer is in distress will alert you to necessary repairs and maintenance that can prolong the appliance's lifespan.
If your dryer is not drying clothes evenly or if there is no heat inside the dryer after running it there may be an issue with the motor. Also, if the interior of your dryer and clothes are extremely hot to the touch, the motor most likely has overheated. Addressing this overheating issue immediately is imperative to prevent fires.
If your dryer is in distress, contact Capital City Appliance Service today.