Dryer Taking Forever to Dry?

by on October 15, 2012

in Tips & How To's

Are you frustrated with your dryer, wondering why it takes forever to dry your clothes?  Don’t get mad at your dryer just yet, as you may be at fault.  If your dryer is taking a long time to dry your clothes, chances are it is not a broken dryer or a service issue.  One of the most common causes is clogged dryer duct work is from lint build up.  The venting is one of the most critical things that contribute to the proper operation of the dryer. In order to fix and prevent this problem there is some regular maintenance that should be done to keep the dryer working and to avoid even greater dangers.

The Issue

Most people may be unaware of this, but dryer duct work must be cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Dryer duct work builds up lint every time the dryer is run. This means that after a while the 4” duct work becomes smaller and smaller due to the lint build-up. As a result, it causes air flow back-up and drying issues. So if you have a problem with your dryer taking too long to dry your clothes, then it may not be a service issue, but instead your dryer ducts probably need cleaning. This means cleaning the actual duct work, which not everyone is aware of. If the duct work is clean, dryers will also work faster, saving more energy.

The Dangers

The dryer is one of the leading causes of house fires

In addition to the performance issues it may cause, not cleaning dry ducts is one of the largest causes of house fires. House fires can easily destroy homes and take lives in an instant, and it happens more than you may think as a result of clogged dryer duct work. According to About.com, here is the list of what causes a laundry room fire to ignite:

Clothing in dryer – 30%
Washer wire or cable insulation – 29%
Dust, fiber or lint – 27%
Appliance housing – 21%
Appliance drive or belt – 18%
Soft Goods left in laundry room – 10%

They also state that 92% of all laundry room fires occur because of the dryer and usually because of a failure to clean it.
(Source: http://laundry.about.com/od/laundryappliances/a/Deadly-Laundry-Room-Fires-Laundry-Room-Fire-Dangers.htm)

The Solution

Therefore, the easiest way to keep your dryer working properly and to avoid a fire is to get the duct work inspected and cleaned professionally at least once a year. In addition, it is also important to keep up with cleaning the lint on your own, by keeping the dryer clean and cleaning the lint filter after each load. One other tip is to make sure that the vent is straight rather than twisted, so the airflow isn’t restricted. It should really be as short and straight as possible for maximum performance, as the more bends and turns added, the greater the reduction of airflow and chances for lint build up.

Recommended venting pictured above. Also, be sure to clean dryer vents.

So if your clothes are taking forever to dry, there is a good chance that your issue is a simple one as described above, and can be resolved with the proper care. The number one thing to remember is regular maintenance and cleaning of the dryer and ducts, not only to keep your dryer working properly, but also to prevent a house fire. Visit us at MrsGs.com for more info on dryers and all laundry appliances.

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