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Home / Tips and Tricks / Clean the dryer opening to save money and avoid fires – LifeSavvy

Clean the dryer opening to save money and avoid fires – LifeSavvy



  A pair of washers and dryers in a sunny laundry room
Artzazum / Shutterstock

Cleaning the air vents of your tumble dryer is not a daunting task, but a necessary one that reduces the risk of fire in your home and saves you money as well. That's how it's done.

Most of the problems you have with your dryer are directly related to the fact that the dryer was not routinely cleaned. It's easy not to think about it, and if you've never cleaned your dryer before, we'll be sure to keep it with you. This is important to extend the life of your device and ensure safety. Here's why and how you should do it.

Why clean the air vent?

When doing household chores, some things are of low priority and low risk, and then there are things you just should not do dump in the Some-Day-Never category.

Dusting the panel over a door is one of those low-priority tasks. Yes, it is nice to dust off all the renovations in your home, but if you neglect this (even over years), nothing bad will come of it. The story of the dryer vents is different. According to the US Fire Department, there are nearly 3,000 reported dryer fires per year in the US, killing an estimated five people, injuring 1

00, and causing $ 35 million worth of property damage. One third of these fires are directly attributable to a failure in cleaning the dryer.

  FEMA fire-retardant adhesive that encourages people to clean their dryer vent once a year.
US. Fire Protection Management

Even if you are fortunate enough to avoid such a serious fire as a house fire from a poorly maintained dryer, non-cleaning the vent reduces the efficiency of your dryer (wasting both energy and money) and shortens the service life the clothes may not dry properly (which can cause odors) and mold and mildew may accumulate in the dryer vent (which also causes the oil to not change) odors).

Strong Indicators Your dryer vent needs to be cleaned.

Cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year is an absolute must when maintaining your home. Regardless of whether you have one of these indicators or not, you should still take your time.

However, if you notice any of the following circumstances, you are overdue for a cleanse and should take care of it as soon as possible.

Your dryer is draughty

If you feel a slight draft in your tumble dryer when emptying, this indicates the door is stuck open on the outside of your home or apartment. Usually compressed dryer lint and residues are the cause of this situation as they accumulate so much that the cover at the end of the vent does not close properly.

Your clothes are not completely dry

If you are running your clothes goes through a full cycle and it is not completely dry. This is a good indicator that the moist air from the dryer is not efficiently drained. If they are still very humid, the heating element of the dryer probably will not work properly (and you should consult a service technician to check it), but if they are warm, but still a little damp (than this particular drying cycle has done before ) Trick), it is probably a ventilation problem.

Your clothes smell strange

Recently we talked about what to do if you're dealing with funky smelling towels. If you are certain that the washing machine is not the cause of the unpleasant odors of your clothes, there may be a fault with the dryer.

While the hot, dry air that the dryer presses through the dryer creates a hostile environment for things like mold and mold, when you have a lot of fluff (which in most homes is mainly organic matter like cotton fluff), you have the potential for odor-causing microbes to accumulate. If you live in a humid climate and the door of your dryer does not close properly, as mentioned above, humid air from outside your home will flow back into the dryer vent and mix with all the lint that sticks to the flap sides of the vent.

In addition to the strange odors from the funky accumulation in the aeration of the dryer, inadequate ventilation sometimes leaves a persistent scorching smell on your clothes.

Your clothes and dryers are hot

This is where we get into danger zone ads. Not drying well is one thing. Clothes that seem too hot and an unusually hot dryer are far more dangerous. If you remove a load of towels and are surprised at how hot they feel or how hot the metal body of the dryer feels, you should discontinue use of the dryer until you have cleaned the vent and studied the cause of the problem.

Clothing should feel warm and the body of the dryer should be warm while the dryer is in operation, but every time one of these things feels surprisingly hot, it creeps into the area of ​​fire.

Their laundry rooms seem to be hotter or wetter than usual

If the laundry rooms appear warmer than usual and, above all, if they appear wetter than usual, there is a good chance that hot, humid air will leak through a weak spot in the air Dryer venting system is pressed because improperly sealed tubing, together with the force of the fan in the dryer pushing against the lint buildup, pushes the air into the room.

If you have a gas dryer, the ejected air is not only bad for the room (because of the moisture), but bad for you (due to gases in the exhaust such as carbon monoxide). As in the situation with a dryer that is too hot, this is a dangerous situation and you should not operate the dryer until you have cleaned and reclosed the dryer vent.

How to clean the dryer vent

Have you put enough terror in your heart, the good news! Cleaning and maintaining your dryer's ventilation system is really easy and a job that anyone can do, even someone with a limited amount of DIY. (But, as always, if you are worried about your job, it is best to call a friend or hire a specialist.)

The tools you need

I need the following tools:

  • A Dryer Breather Brush: I have owned this model for years and recommend it to all my friends. It is a circular brush that you attach to a series of fiberglass rods bolted together to insert them into the duct.
  • A small breather brush: A smaller breather brush like this one is perfect for cleaning the lint trap on the dryer itself. Look for a long, flexible wire brush that will allow you to wiggle around in the air vent properly.
  • A Vacuum Cleaner: They will cause a lot of confusion, so it's worth having a vacuum cleaner at hand to not only clean the lint from the floor, but also to suck the lint and channels.
  • Screwdriver: You may need a screwdriver to loosen the channel, and when you open it, you will definitely need a screwdriver to dry the blower deeply.
  • Foil tape: For your dryer aeration you need a suitable foil tape, no adhesive tape . Only foil tapes are suitable for use with hot-air dryer ventilation.

Equipped with the right tools, the task becomes child's play.

Cleaning the Fluff Trap and the Filter Housing

First, the simple step. Remove the lint trap from the dryer and discard any lint accumulated on it, if any. Grasp the lint box with the small breather brush and loosen accumulated lint. Keep the vacuum close at hand to absorb it when you get rid of it.

If you want to go one step further here (especially if you've lit a flashlight into the case's casing, it seems you're going to get stuck with the small vent brush), you may want the filter housing and blower assembly clean inside out. To do this, look up a maintenance manual for your particular model dryer, remove a cover (or possibly the entire enclosure) of the dryer, and access the trap housing. With my Whirlpool dryer, this is as easy as loosening a few tapping screws on the front of the unit and then a few screws on the trap housing. However, your experience may vary considerably, and you may skip this step if you use the odor. The breather brush appears to have cleaned the filter housing sufficiently.

Clean the breather yourself.

  The person who sucks a dryer vent with a vacuum.
Benjamin Clapp / Shutterstock

After servicing the dryer housing, unplug the dryer and gently pull it away from the wall to gain access to the back of the unit. Move the dryer only as far back as possible to disconnect the power cord and disconnect the vent. If you move the dryer too far without disconnecting the vent, bend the rigid hose. You do not have a rigid hose behind your dryer? This is not the case in most countries today and presents a significant fire hazard (all dryers should have rigid metal exhaust vents and no flexible vinyl or foil hoses). Immediately replace your flexible tubing with rigid tubing.

When the dryer is not connected Take the dryer breather brush and slowly insert it into the pipe so that the large brush head moves from the inside of the house to the outside vent. Turn the brush clockwise only (as turning counter-clockwise loosens the threads on the bar segments and the brush gets caught in the vent). Slowly move it back and forth through the vent to break up the lint, clean the breather walls, and push out the lint. You can read the dyer and the part of the dryer breather tube with the vacuum.

Reconnect the dryer to the breather hose and seal all parts of the hose that have been removed with the film tape. Run the dryer for a few minutes to blow loose fluff. Now is the perfect time to check the dryer vent for leaks. While you can hold your hand close to adhesive joints in the dryer opening to check for air leakage, it is much faster to inflate some baby powder or chalk dust near the joints to see if any air is leaking. Glue any leaks to make sure the dryer holes are completely out of your home.


That's all you need. It's dusty, you're subtracted from the amount of fluff (every year, no doubt, I know it's me), and it'll kill an hour or two of your weekend … but you'll have a lucky dryer and that The risk of a fire breaking out in your laundry room has dropped dramatically.


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