7 Essential dryer maintenance tips

Recent consumer reports have shown that a modern dryer should last for 10 years before a replacement is necessary. But, this is misleading. If you maintain your dryer, it’s possible to keep the appliance running efficiently for up to 25 years. And yet, around 17% of new dryer purchasers encounter a serious problem within the first five years of ownership. Buying a new appliance represents a significant investment, and anything that we can do to prolong its life is worth consideration. If you want to get the most out of your dryer, it’s a good idea to carry out some regular maintenance. This will ensure that it works efficiently and that it’s useful lifespan is at the upper end of its potential range. In this article, we will look at seven essential dryer maintenance tips in more detail.

Refer to the Owner’s Manual

This tip is equally applicable to any appliance that you purchase and use in your home. Manufacturers spend a great deal of time writing helpful manuals for their products, which many buyers lose or misplace. A good owner’s manual for your dryer will have plenty of tips on how to care for the appliance and certain special requirements that are needed for operation and maintenance. The best manuals have a useful troubleshooting sections to help you identify potential problems. If you’ve got the manual for your dryer, it’s time to dust it off and give it a read. If you’ve misplaced your manual, you can find a pdf copy online with a simple search of the make and model number. If you follow the advice in your owner’s manual, you can take better care of your dryer and prolong the useful lifespan significantly.

Avoid Overloading Your Dryer

Overloading is probably the most common reason for a breakage, and it’s very easy to avoid this problem. Every dryer has a set capacity with minimum and maximum weight limits that you can find in the owner’s manual. When we overload the dryer, the motor can overheat, leading to a burn out. The level of lint in the trap will be increased, and this can lead to the prevention of air flow needed to keep the appliance working. The extra weight of a drying load can damage the belt, spindle bearings, and pulley assembly. When we overload the dryer, the drying times are increased. This can also result in higher than expected energy bills.

Regularly Clean the Drum and Lint Trap

During the drying process, lint builds up in the dryer, and if the levels get too high, it can cause damage or even result in a fire! The lint trap should be kept clean, inspect it regularly and avoid overloading the dryer. Get into the habit of cleaning the lint trap at least 2-3 times per year with a vacuum cleaner. Use the vacuum to the gap between the door and the drum. Don’t forget to clean the lint from the external vent outside your home. If you’re not sure about cleaning effectively, contact a local specialist for expert help today.

Avoid Tossing Everything in the Dryer

A dryer is only designed to dry fabrics, but many people use them to dry other items, such as purses, toys, wigs, and more. It’s important to keep the dryer door closed when it’s not in use. This will prevent pets from getting inside and kids from placing items in the appliance. These activities are dangerous, and they can cause a great deal of damage, so pay close attention to what goes in the dryer.

Replace Lightweight Ventilation Ducts

Many dryers have ventilation ducts that are made of plastic or aluminum for flexibility if they need to be replaced. But, these lightweight vent ducts are prone to bending, breaking and in the case of plastic, they could even melt! When this occurs, the heat cannot be dissipated efficiently, and this can lead to overheating in the dryer. If a dryer overheats, it can cause a fire and damage that’s expensive to fix. Research has shown that around 16,000 home fires every year involve a washer or dryer. The best way to avoid this problem is to replace the lightweight, flexible vent ducts with solid metal units. If you notice that your clothes are too hot, there is a burning odor or the drying times are too long, it’s likely that your vents are at fault. Get into the habit of inspecting and replacing the ventilation ducts annually to ensure that they are working efficiently.

Keep the Dryer Stable

A dryer can lose stability just like a washer, and lateral movement can cause damage to the components. The dryer must be installed and used on a stable surface, and even a poorly distributed drying load can cause problems. If the machine is used frequently in an unstable position, it can result in uneven wear on key parts. This is an easy problem to prevent if you install your dryer on a level and supported surface. The owner’s manual may provide useful advice on the ideal surface for the dryer. If you shake out the load inside the machine, you can distribute it better and prevent instability. This will improve the performance and longevity of your dryer in the medium to long term.

Close the Vent

The vent space on the outside of your home is warm when the dryer is in operation. This can make this area an attractive option for birds and animals looking for a dry and warm location. This is especially true when the weather turns colder, and you may even find bird nests in the vent space. The main problem is that these types of obstructions will inhibit the air circulation needed to prevent overheating. Another issue is that these unwanted guests may eventually find their way into your home, and you may need to call the exterminator. This problem can be prevented by covering the vent with the provided screen or installing a new one as needed.

If you’re considering upgrading your dryer, check out our online collection or speak to one of our home appliance specialists for further help.