Dryer Maintenance 101: Tips To Prolong The Life of Your Dryer

Fred's Appliance
February 28, 2014

Giving your dryer some TLC every once in a while will boost its performance while prolonging its life. Far too many people use their dryer day after day without properly maintaining it, and then they wonder why it stops working. Like all modern-day home appliances, dryers require some basic upkeep to continue working at 100%. Failing to maintain them could result in mechanical and/or electrical damage, which is something you do not want to deal with.

Clean The Lint Filter

The single most important step in maintaining a dryer is to clean the lint filer before each load. Most dryers have a small tray-like filter (either on the side or top) that pulls out to reveal the lint. You don’t need any special tools or equipment to clean it, as your hands will suffice. Simply pull the filter out, place it over a trash cash, and peel the lint off with your fingers.

So, what’s the importance of cleaning the lint filter? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPC) released a report back in the late 90s which revealed some alarming statistics about dryers. The report, titled Report on Electric and Gas Clothes Dryers, found dryer lint to be the cause of 15,000 house fires in just a single year. What’s even more surprising is that, according to the study, electric models were two and half times more likely to cause fires than gas dryers.

Clean Around The Filter

It’s not uncommon for lint to fall into the chute where the filter is located. This usually doesn’t cause an immediate problems, but it may lead to some of the lint traveling into the vent ducts. Once lint begins to build up in the vent ducts, you have a serious problem on your hands. Pull the lint filter out and see if you can clean the chute. If you see lint stuck down inside the chute but are unable to reach it, use a vacuum cleaner with a wand attachment to suck it up.


Interior Cleaning

The interior basket of the the dryer should also be cleaned on a regular basis. Before you go poking your heard around inside, unplug the dryer from the outlet so there’s no chance of shock. Now look around inside to see if there’s any debris from unchecked clothes pockets (bound to happen), lint or other items. If you see any, pull them out and continue inspecting the dryer basket.

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