Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Home Maintenance: Clean your dryer vents

About two weeks ago we began to have trouble drying our clothes. We found we had to use two or three drying cycles to dry the clothes. We also noticed more than the usual heat and humidity in and near our laundry room and the odor of combustion products.

It turned out our dryer's vent had plugged up with five years worth of lint. I cleaned what I could from the inside, but we continued to have difficulties. Finally, I called a handyman with a long ladder and he quickly took care of the problem by removing the vent grille on the outside wall while the dryer was running on the "air only" setting. Quite a bit of lint blew out of the vent.

It's also possible to go outside and remove the exterior grill covering the vent exhaust. Stuff the hose of a canister vacuum down the dryer vent as far as you can and push and pull several times. You'll be amazed at the amount of dryer lint that is removed by this operation.

Perform this task as part of your normal SPRING routine - once per year.

If any of you notice that clothes are not drying properly or if you notice excessive heat and humidity in or near your laundry room, check your vent.