Many of us have been using our dryers for so many years that we may be unaware that we have adopted a few bad habits. These include habits that can wear out your appliance faster and those that increase our safety and fire risk. Here are some dos and don’ts to minimize dryer repairs in Santa Barbara.
Vent Cleaning and Dryer Safety
An appliance that helps you do your laundry with ease, it’s also a fire and safety hazard. If your dryer isn’t properly installed and maintained, your risk significantly increases.
At 34%, failure to clean the dryer vent is the leading cause of dryer fires. These fires are most likely to occur in the fall and winter months.
According to FEMA, there are 2,900 dryer fires each year. These fires result in an annual average of:
- 5 deaths
- 100 injuries
- $35 million dollars in damages
Damages include laundry room fires and fires that spread to the entire home or building.
These tips will increase safety, minimize repairs, and help to extend the life of your dryer.
- DO have your dryer installed by a trained technician. This will ensure you have the proper electrical outlet and capacity. Professional installation may also be required if any warranty-related repair needs arise.
- DO have your vent installed by a general contractor. This ensures the most optimal path for routing heat and moisture outside of your home. Also, ensure that you have a quality exterior vent cover to minimize blockage and dryer repairs in Santa Barbara.
- DO read the owner’s manual to ensure you understand your smart functions, dryer settings, weight capacity, volume capacity, and essential use and operational instructions.
- DO clean the dryer lint trap every time you finish a load of laundry. If a pet blanket or article of clothing has an excessive amount of hair or lint, remove it with a linter roller before placing it in the dry. Also, set a timer to clean the lint tray mid-cycle.
- DO schedule annual maintenance to ensure your dryer is working at optimal efficiency. Your technician will also clean your vent pipe and suggest any upgrades, such as upgrading to a non-ribbed metal duct or adding an outside wall damper.
- DO inquire about how often you should clean your vent yourself. For most, once per year is enough, but curved vent lines, large families, and commercial facilities will need to clean the vent at least once per quarter.
- DO visually inspect the exterior vent at least once per quarter. This will ensure that it’s not blocked, clogged, or infested with a rodent nest.
- DO call a technician any time your dryer’s performance changes. Whether it’s making a funny noise, shaking, your clothing is taking longer to dry, or performance has changed in any way.
- DO dust and vacuum in your laundry room to minimize the particles that make their way into your dryer.
Another way to minimize dryer repairs in Santa Barbara is to ensure you understand what not to do.
- DON’T dry clothing without double-checking that the lint trap is clean. You may clean it every time, but that may not be true for everyone in your home or business.
- DON’T dry clothing if the lint filter, vent line, or exterior vent are loose, damaged, or clogged.
- DON’T dry items that are dripping wet or that contain more water weight than usual. While your dryer can effectively remove 1 to 3 gallons per load, depending on its size, if your washing machine did not properly spin your clothing—set the spin cycle again. Then call to have your washing machine serviced.
- DON’T overload your dryer. Read your owner’s manual to ensure you understand just how much you can place in your dryer (by volume and weight) without concern. On that same note, don’t overload your washing machine.
- DON’T dry items that contain plastic, foam, rubber, dry glass fiber, or that are prohibited in your owner’s manual. For example, rubber bathmats should hang to dry.
- DON’T dry items that have instructions that state “dry away from heat”.
- DON’T dry items that have come in contact with flammable chemicals such as alcohol, oil, or gasoline.
- DON’T cover the wall damper with a wire screen or cloth. It sounds like a good idea, but they increase the rate at which clogs occur, increasing your fire risk.
- DON’T leave your dryer running when you aren’t home or when you go to bed. This increases the risk of delayed fire response.
How to Clean Your Dryer Vent Line?
As you can see, there is a lot you can do to minimize dryer repairs in Santa Barbara. If you are wondering how to clean your dryer vent line, follow the steps below:
- Unplug your dryer. If it’s a gas dryer, turn off the gas line.
- Pull the dryer away from the wall about 1 foot.
- Disconnect the dryer duct. You may need a screwdriver for this.
- Inspect the duct for damage. If damaged, do not reconnect.
- Use your vacuum to vacuum out as much lint as you can.
- Head outside, remove the exterior vent cover and vacuum it out.
- Use a dryer vent brush to reach deeper into the line.
- If not damaged, reattach the exterior vent cover and interior duct.
- Plug your dryer back in, turn the gas line on, and slide the dryer back into place.
- Turn your dryer on to ensure that air is flowing freely to the exterior vent.
In Need of Dryer Repairs in Santa Barbara?
If you live in Santa Barbara County and require dryer or appliance services, Superior Appliance Repairs has you covered. We maintain and repair all home and commercial appliances and can perform most repairs on the same day.
If it’s been more than a year since your appliances have had annual maintenance, give us a call. We can service all of your appliances on the same day and perform any required dryer repairs in Santa Barbara.
Not up for cleaning your vent? We can do it for you!