If you have the luxury of an in-home clothes dryer, you need to know how to care for it properly. But if you’re like most homeowners, you don’t often think about what your dryer requires to function its best. Unfortunately though, improper use and lack of routine maintenance are two of the most common culprits behind dryer malfunction, so if you’re not currently maintaining your dryer, now is the time to start. Below, our G&G Appliance Repair team discusses five things you must know to ensure your dryer functions optimally.
Tip #1: Read the Owner’s Manual
Using a clothes dryer is pretty straightforward, right? You toss in damp laundry, select a temperature, press start, and let it do its thing, right? For standard machines with fewer bells and whistles, that might be true—but even if you own a standard model, have you ever read the owner’s manual? What if you’re making a basic mistake and you don’t even know it?
When you get a new dryer, don’t just plug it in and start using it! Always read the owner’s manual for in-depth instructions on how to properly use your machine. Even minor mistakes can reduce the dryer’s overall efficiency or, worse, void the manufacturer’s warranty. Pay attention to instructions that outline:
● Proper care and maintenance
● Cleaning guidelines, if included
● Appropriate temperature selection for various types of fabrics
● Appropriate loading technique and capacity
● How to balance the dryer
● Space requirements and appropriate placement
While you can certainly get by without reading the user manual, we don’t recommend it. Ultimately, you’ll end up calling a dryer repair service if you neglect the manufacturer’s usage guidelines and proper maintenance.
Tip #2: Maintain the Lint Filter
How often do you remove lint from the lint screen? After every load? If you’re not doing it often enough, you’re not only risking suboptimal dryer performance, but you’re also creating a fire hazard. It’s fine to forgo lint removal on occasion, especially if you check the filter and there’s only a small amount of fuzz present. Ideally though, you should clear the lint from the filter after every load, just to make sure it remains as clean as possible.
As well, be sure to periodically clean the lint screen with warm, soapy water to remove fabric softener residue accumulation. Periodically cleaning the filter allows it to catch as much lint as possible, which reduces your risk of a dryer fire and lessens the chance you’ll require premature dryer repairs.
Tip #3: Clean the Exhaust Vent & Lint Trap
Even if you clean your lint trap religiously, your dryer’s exhaust vent and lint trap also require routine cleaning. Keep in mind that the lint screen and the lint trap are two different components—the screen is the removable part; the trap is the opening in which you insert the screen.
As with cleaning the lint screen, routine lint removal from both the trap and the exhaust vent helps your dryer perform more efficiently. When excessive lint accumulates within the vent or the trap, it impedes the normal flow of hot air, which increases drying time and requires more energy. Plus, since lint is highly flammable, a lint-laden exhaust vent or trap can present a significant fire hazard.
For optimal dryer performance and to avoid premature appliance repairs, be sure to clean both the trap and the vent at least once per year, but preferably every six months. Here’s how to do it:
1. Remove the lint screen from the trap opening and clean it thoroughly.
2. Using a vacuum with a hose attachment, vacuum as much of the debris out of the lint trap as possible. Reinsert the lint screen.
3. Wearing gloves, examine the exhaust vent for lint or other objects.
4. Using a vacuum, clean as far into the vent tube as you can. Keep in mind you’ll need a special vent cleaning tool to address the entire length of the tube. Head to your local hardware store to purchase one, or consider hiring a professional vent cleaning company.
5. Inspect the exterior vent opening where it exits your home. If the vent has a flap or slats, remove the outer cover to access the interior of the tube.
6. Using gloves, pull out any debris you can reach before using a vacuum or lint removal tool to clean the remainder of the tube.
Tip #4: Hose Length Matters
The shorter your dryer hose, the less energy the machine requires to pump moisture-laden air out of the drum and outdoors. So if you’re looking for maximum dryer efficiency, consider truncating the hose if it’s excessively long. The tube only needs to reach from the wall opening to the back of the machine—any extra hose is unnecessary, which means you can simply cut it off. Just make sure you accurately measure the distance first!
Tip #5: Don’t Overload the Drum
Last, but definitely not least, don’t overload your dryer! For optimal performance and overall efficiency, be sure to fill the drum according to the machine’s instruction manual. Every dryer has a specific capacity at which it’s designed to function best, and when you toss too many items in the drum at once, the machine cannot dry them quickly or completely.
Looking for Dryer Repair in New York? Contact G&G Appliance Service Today
For over 20 years, our G&G Appliance Service team has been serving residents across New York state, and we’d love the opportunity to serve you, too! We specialize in all forms of appliance repair for both warrantied and non-warrantied machines and service appliances from both major manufacturers and lesser-known brands.
To learn more about our appliance repair services or to schedule your appointment, give our central scheduling center a call at 718-848-2100 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch! Need a repair estimate? Feel free to request your diagnostic quote online.