A clothes dryer is one of those appliances you simply cannot do without. However, like all appliances, it requires regular maintenance for it to function efficiently and safely. Routinely freeing it from lint – an incredibly inefficient and combustible byproduct – is especially pertinent. Every year, firefighters across the country respond to an estimated 14,692 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Here are the five best practices for clothes dryers.
#1. Protect Your Clothing
Your normal drying routine may not be best for your energy bill, clothes, or the environment. ENERGY STAR suggests using sensor drying rather than timed. This setting ensures that your clothes dryer automatically shuts-off when the clothes are dry. Less heat means energy savings and less wear and tear on your clothes caused by over-drying. It’s a win-win!
#2: Clean the Lint Screen Between Loads
While today’s dryers have sophisticated features such as “check lint screen” indicator lights, they aren’t perfect, meaning that it is still essential for you to clean the dryer’s lint filter after every load. Also, once a month, remove the trap and use a flexible lint brush to remove any lint that may have been missed. You can find a dryer lint brush for under $10 online and in-stores.
#3. Remove Product Buildup from the Lint Trap
Do you use fabric softener (sheets or liquid)? This deposit a thin, waxy coating on the lint screen, and your clothes that can lessen the dryer’s effectiveness. Experts recommend regularly cleaning the screen, using dish detergent and a scrub brush, to remove any lingering residue. Wool dryer balls are an excellent, eco-friendly alternative to wasteful, chemical-ridden fabric softeners.
#4. Hire a Dryer Vent Cleaning Professional Annually
Dryer vent cleaning can prevent fires, reduce energy consumption, and extend the life of your dryer and even your clothes! Professional dryer vent cleaning is the way to go. During the cleaning, the service professional will work through miles of ductwork, including any turns and bends to free it from lint. Equally important, they will also clean behind and underneath the dryer. You’ll know when it’s time because your clothes will take longer to dry or may become extremely hot to the touch.
#5. Don’t Leave Home if the Clothes Dryer is Running
As a rule, never leave the clothes dryer unattended. Experts recommend always turning this appliance, and other major appliances off, whether you’re leaving home or going to bed to avoid the potential for something to go wrong. You should also thoroughly read – if you haven’t already – manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper and safe operation of your clothes dryer. Manufacturers recommend dryer vent cleaning be completed once a year, at minimum.
Home Services North Carolina is a leading provider of air duct cleaning, mold remediation, crawl space encapsulation, dryer vent cleaning, and attic radiant barriers in North Carolina. Our services are aimed at helping you create a healthy living environment inside your home. For a free five-point healthy home inspection, contact us Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at (919) 872-9088.