How to ensure your dryer lasts many years

July 29, 2015

Keep your dryer happy, and keep your clothes dry. There's no reason your dryer shouldn't last for many years to come. Here's how to ensure that it does.

How to ensure your dryer lasts many years

Give dryer exhaust the path of least resistance

  • When it comes to your dryer exhaust pipe, think short and smooth.
  • That means, first of all, using smooth metal duct pipe, not flexible accordion plastic ones.
  • Ideally, you want the duct to go straight out of the dryer to the outdoors. But if that isn't possible, design a pipe run that is as short as possible, with no more than two elbows.
  • Lint can collect in elbows, and those flexible plastic pipes are virtual lint traps, especially when they are long and curled up behind the dryer.
  • When lint clogs up the exhaust, the dryer can't circulate the hot air properly, so the machine must work harder and longer to dry each load.
  • This makes the dryer more costly to run and shortens its life.

Keep the exhaust vent clear

Lint will eventually build up in your exhaust vent pipe, even if it is a short, straight run. So to keep your dryer working efficiently, make it a habit to once a year clean out the vent duct.

  1. Unplug the dryer and remove the duct. Shake out any built-up lint. If necessary, run a wadded stick on a cloth through the duct.
  2. When replacing the duct, make sure to reseal the joints with fresh duct tape.
  3. Outdoors, clean the damper and its hinge by inserting a length of straightened coat hanger into the vent hood.

Don’t vent your dryer indoors

  • It may seem like a good idea to vent your dryer into the house in the wintertime.
  • Why not capture that moist, warm air? The biggest reason is that that air contains a lot of lint that you do not want to breathe.
  • In addition, the air is too moist and can cause condensation on your windows.

Remember the lint catcher

  • Make it a habit: Before you turn on the dryer for each load, empty the lint catcher.
  • Your machine will work more efficiently, which means it will last longer and use less energy.
  • Plus, you will be eliminating a fire hazard.

Check for door leaks

  • Occasionally move a piece of tissue paper over door's edge while the dryer is running; if the paper is drawn in, the seal need to be replaced. (A damp door is also a sign of a bad seal.)
  • You can get a seal for your model of dryer from an appliance parts store.
  • Usually you can just pull or pry off the old seal, remove any old adhesive with mineral spirits, and attach the new seal with the special heat-resistant adhesive, which is usually sold with the seal.
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