If your clothes dryer is doing its job, leaving your clothes fresh, warm and dry, you may think it doesn't need any maintenance—but it does. In fact, in addition to cleaning out the lint screen after every load, your dryer requires regular maintenance that can help it dry clothes faster, use less electricity and make it a safer appliance to use in your home.
What Needs To Be Done?
Lint needs to be cleaned out of the dryer vents and hose to ensure optimal performance.
Why Do It?
- Clean dryer vents and hose can help result in a better-working dryer.
- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that, from 2006 to 2008, clothes dryers caused about 7,000 residential fires each year
- The CPSC says one of the leading factors in these fires was people's failure to clean dryer ducts and airways.
Manufacturers usually recommend that you have your vent and your dryer cabinet, which is the structure that contains the drum in which you put your clothes to dry, and vent cleaned by a professional at least once a year, or, according to the CPSC, more often if you use your dryer frequently. Be sure to check your product manual, which has recommendations based on the size and the type of dryer hose and vents.
It may be a good idea to check your vent and hose every 60 to 90 days if:
- Multiple people are using the same dryer
- The dryer is more than a decade old
- The dryer hose is more than 10 feet long
- The dryer hose has more than one 90-degree turn
How to Do It:
You probably will need to call a professional to perform maintenance on your dryer vent and hose. Before hiring someone to do work at your house, it's always a good idea to check out their rating on the Better Business Bureau's website.
Keeping your dryer vent clean and lint-free not only makes your dryer run more efficiently, potentially saving you money, but it can help prevent a fire. Check your product literature for best practices and, when in doubt, call a professional.
Need help remembering to clean your dryer vent? Sign up for the Allstate Maintenance Reminder.