Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Your Dryer Vent Could Be Costing You Time And Money...So Clean It!

Klenk here again,

Let me guess - your dryer takes forever to dry your clothes...if it drys them at all. Right?

So, when's the last time you cleaned you dryer exhaust venting? Last year? Two years ago? Ever?!

Dryers are like cars; If your exhaust on your car is clogged or obstructed it wont run very efficiently or sometimes not run at all. Same for you dryer. The only difference is that your dryer CAN CATCH ON FIRE AND POTENTIALLY BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN. There are several reasons why your dryer vent can cause your dryer issues. Here's a few:
  • Blocked or obstructed
    • Lint build up
    • Bird nests or animals / rodents (they like the warm air especially in the winter
  • Venting run length
  • 90 degree turns

Again, think of it like your car; have you ever heard of a muscle car having "straight pipes"? What this means is that the straighter the run is for air flow, the more efficient it will be. A normal residential dryer will only blow air roughly 40-50 feet. Now, that sounds like a lot but you should also consider that every 90 degree turn in the vent is like adding 10 more feet to the length. This is the equivalent of suffocating your dryer. Some instances is can go into the wall, make another 90 degree turn upwards and go 10-20 feet up to the roof. Same for going below a first story such as a basement.

If your venting looks like this, you'll be buying a new dryer about every 2-3 years IF YOU'RE LUCKY! So if you keep wondering why your dryer wont last DON'T CALL YOUR DRYER A PIECE OF CRAP - FIX YOUR VENT! Any brand, any model, any priced dryer will malfunction or die if you venting is a mess. Appliance repair people just love to see this stuff because it means constant maintenance and customer's that are cheap never want to spend the extra $20-$50 in parts to correct it. A good repairman or installer would tell you that this is horrible and needs replaced and wont even repair your unit without you replacing this first.

The other issue with all the turns in your vent is that it's a great place for lint to build up. Once the lint builds up in the vent the dryer has nowhere else to exhaust this lint and hot air but back inside the dryer. This causes two HUGE issues:

  1. Air build up inside the dryer causes the unit to get really hot inside and can confuse the thermostats and do damage other internal parts. Some dryers have what's called a thermal fuse inside them or a safety thermostat. When these parts sense that the temperature inside the dryer is too hot, they "blow" or break and do not allow the dryer to turn back on.
  2. If the lint has nowhere else to go it will build up inside the dryer. It can become a nice thick blanket of lint that is just waiting to catch on fire. Don't believe me? Check these US government statistics.

So how can you prevent these issues? Simple - Clean you dryer vent and the inside of your dryer out every 3-6 months.
There are a few easy ways to clean your vent:
  1. Blow it out
    1.  Disconnect the venting from your dryer.
    2. Take the outside housing of your dryer vent off outside the house(like a cage or the flapper on the outside)
    3. Take a fabric potato sack or a normal garbage bag and apply it with tape to the outside (or have someone hold it over the hole) of your vent. Make sure to poke some holes in it so that some air can flow through but will catch the lint / nastiness.
    4. Use an electric leaf blower inside your house, insert it into the vent and turn it on. It will blow all the goodies from the vent into the sack or bag and bang - you're done.
  2.  Suck it out
    1. Get a wet / dry Shop Vac style vacuum with some extra hose and vacuum it out from the inside and from the outside.
We carry GE dryers and they make many models that vent at least 90 feet and one that vents 150 feet! Ask us about a great deal on these models!

Check out our website if you need a new dryer or if you want to contact us about cleaning you dryer in the Decatur Indiana area.

Have a fun weekend cleaning your dryer vent!


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