If your dryer or the clothes you’re drying are hotter than usual while your dryer is in operation, or it’s taking more than one cycle to dry, it’s time to clean the machine. If you’ve noticed burnt smells or the laundry room is more humid, yes, it’s time.
Experts recommend cleaning the lint filter after every use and conducting thorough routine clean once a year. You can fork over $100 to $150 to a pro or if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, grab a vent cleaning kit and vacuum with a long hose and get to work. Here’s why:
Avoid a Fire.
A clogged dryer often leads to electrical issues that can ignite a fire. In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 2,900 fires in home dryers are reported each year and cause about five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss. Failure to clean the dryer is responsible for more than a quarter of those fires and most incidents occur in the fall and winter.
Improve Air Flow.
Restricting a dryer’s air flow leads to more energy usage and slows down the machine. Best way to fix this? In addition to regular cleaning and lint removal, make sure your dryer sits level to ensure clothes tumble properly.
The average repair cost for a faulty dryer ranges from $50 to $1,000, according to HomeAdvisor.com. Also, blocked vents cause dryers to work harder and use more electricity, which equates to higher utility bills. Properly maintaining your appliance to keep the repairman away and save money in the long run.
Keep House Clean
When’s the last time you looked behind your dryer? There’s proof enough that dryers need to be cleaned on a regular basis. That debris not only piles up behind the dryer, it accumulates in the duct and vent pipe and heads outside as well. So be sure to disconnect each part and thoroughly clean with a brush or vacuum (some even suggest a leaf blower!) inside and out.
Protect the Environment.
Dryer sheets and fabric softener typically leave residue behind so opt for LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls, an environment-friendly alternative to drying your clothes quicker and without the buildup.