The convenience of having a dryer is one that many of us appreciate. It is an appliance that we take for granted. Many people don’t realize that there is some maintenance and precautions that have to be implemented to reduce the risk of fire.
Although we tend to use our dryer more often during the winter months, in many cases we don’t use if for many dryer loads at a time. Being as we are stuck in the house more anyway we tend to do our laundry more often, but less loads at one time.
When spring hits we tend to go on a cleaning frenzy. We can end up with many more loads of laundry. Plus, the dryer loads may be heavier. We are washing and drying all of the winter garb to put away for the winter. Then we may even be washing the heavy blankets and drapes. These take a very long time to dry. If the dryer is not full optimized for safe use then it can put us at risk for a dryer fire.
In some cases there is even the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning because the dryer vent has not been properly installed. The biggest cause of dryer fires is the build up of lint and a reduction in air flow. Lint has been recognized as being a highly combustible substance.
One of the more current problems is where the dryers are now located in a residence. They are not longer confined to the basement. They are often on the main or upper floors and end up being butted against an inside wall. These means the venting has a longer distance to go and they have more curves and bends in them. To creates a ripe opportunity for link to build up in these areas. The ideal scenario is to have a relatively short vent hose without any bends in it.
Inside the dryer is also important. Chances are you are assuming that the lint catcher does all the work. There is a good chance that it is only collecting a portion of it. You can tell by looking at the under part of the trap and see if there is lint collecting there as well.
Some common pitfalls to avoid with your dryer is…
make sure the dryer vent is not too long or kinked
only use a metal vent
make sure there is enough clearance space between the back of the dryer and the wall
Be on the look out for your dryer acting out of its normal performance. Are the clothes taking longer to dry? Or are you noticing the clothes are hotter than usual? If you suspect that there is anything going remiss with this appliance do not hesitate to have it checked out by a qualified repair man.