Maintaining Safe & Effective Dryer Ventilation

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Is your dryer not working like it used to? Do your clothes seemingly take much longer to dry than they did in the past, when your dryer was in its prime? There could be several reasons for this, some of which are very easy to fix and also important to address at the same time.

When lint builds up in your dryer vent, this can lead to your dryer having to work harder. As lint clogs ventilation ducts, this forces the dryer to overheat due to the blockages preventing exhaust from being able to escape. Extending from your dryer is a collapsible tube through which exhaust passes. This tube is made to bend and flex and sometimes does so to a fault. It can become compressed at an angle behind your dryer, minimizing the flow of exhaust while at the same time maximizing the collection of dryer lint in that area. The end result is a blockage that attacks the efficiency of your dryer and presents a fire hazard.



To reduce ventilation problems, there are a few steps you can take. The first of these is to clean your lint filter after every use. This is a relatively easy chore that is often put off 'until next time' when it should be done every time. As your lint trap becomes full, the dryer is not able to vent as well, and when you finally do remove it for emptying, the lint can come apart from the screen and get sucked down into your vent tube, adding to the clog potential. Even when you don't feel like doing it or think you can get around to it next time, stop procrastinating and make empty the lint trap now.



While it is helpful to remove the ventilation tube and clean or replace it, that is not always possible or practical for people who are unable to do the heavy lifting that is moving washers and dryers to get to it. Thus the next step is to clean the exterior dryer vent, working your way deep into the ventilation tube in the process. Remove the face on the outside of your home and pull out any lint that has collected in it. Then take a dryer vent cleaning brush and insert it into the vent and work it around to dislodge loose lint and break apart clogs. Once you turn your dryer back on, any remnants should be loose enough to blow freely out of the exterior vent.



In the future, be sure to attend to your lint trap after every use and make it a point to monitor the exterior vent for signs of a clog. Often times you will see loose lint on the ground around your vent; this is lint that has blown through the tube and made it into the outside world rather than sticking around to clog things up. Seeing this lint is a good sign; if there is never a sign of loose lint beneath or near to your exterior vent, chances are it is accumulating inside instead at the site of a clog.



To preserve the life and function of your dryer, stay on top of its ventilation care. This will give you both an efficient dryer and a long lasting one. It will also save you from the fire hazard that is lint collection and clogging. While energy efficiency is imperative, so is fire safety, and safety is something that should never be neglected.

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