The cost to run a dryer can be substantial, but there are a few things to remember that can help lower these costs. To start: when is the last time you cleaned your dryer vents? If you had to pause to think about it, it has been too long. Having a clean dryer vent is important to prevent fires, but is also crucial for lowering your energy costs.
Why Maintain Your Dryer Vents?
Dryer vents are used to funnel the heat from the dryer to the outside of your home. When an excess of lint builds up and blocks the vent, it prevents the air from flowing properly. It makes the dryer work extra hard and can increase the temperature. Lint is extremely flammable, so this can easily cause a house fire. It is estimated that around 29,000 dryer fires are reported each year.
Besides the fear of fire, a blocked dryer vent will cause your dryer to work harder. Since a dryer is one of the most expensive appliances in your home, it will certainly increase your energy bill. Dryer vent cleaning is guaranteed to increase your energy savings.
There are some warning signs to look out for that can let you know if your dryer needs maintenance. Pay attention to the following:
- Top of the dryer is hot to the touch
- Drying times are increased
- Lint stuck to the inside of the dryer door
- Lastly, check the outside dryer vent to make sure a steady flow of air is escaping
To keep your dryer working in tip-top shape, air duct maintenance must be practiced. To maintain the clean duct, be sure to always clean the lint filter in your dryer after each load and occasionally wash it with soap and water to eliminate detergent residue. Make sure to have your dryer vents cleaned on a yearly basis, but also consider every six months if you have a large family or wash clothes often.