Like with any appliance, there are several things that can go wrong with a clothes dryer; however, most problems are fixed with simple maintenance. The most important thing your dryer needs in order to operate is air-flow. Think about it; the heat and moisture from your wet laundry has to go somewhere in order for the load to come out dry. If there is a blockage in the dryer vent system the heat and moisture are trapped in the drum or somewhere in the exhaust duct.
There are several things you can do to properly maintain your clothes dryer. Obviously, keeping the lint screen clean is one of them. The lint screen should be cleaned after every load of laundry. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can cause a residue to build up over time; the lint screen should be cleaned with hot, soapy water every few months to prevent air-flow blockage.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Lint build-up in the dryer duct restricts air-flow; this is the most common problem found when a clothes dryer isn't functioning properly. Not only is this a fire hazard; it also causes your dryer to work harder and use more energy. A clogged dryer vent can increase your utility bills by nearly $300 per year.
Many dryers have longer ducts with places that are difficult for the average homeowner to get to. A professional has the tools required to do the job efficiently.
Inside the Dryer
Lint also builds up inside the dryer, in the slot for the removable lint filter, the vents on the back panel, around the motor, drums, pulleys and other essential parts of your dryer. A dryer vent cleaning professional has the knowledge and tools to get to all the areas where lint gets trapped.
It is important that your dryer exhaust system is properly installed and that the right materials are used. Older systems use vinyl, plastic or flexible foil for the exhaust duct; studies have proven this to be unsafe. A professional inspection is recommended to be sure your system is safe.
Manufacturers suggest having a professional provide dryer vent cleaning and maintenance at least once a year to be sure your dryer is venting properly and the system is up to current safety standards.
Dryer vent cleaning is the most important maintenance you can do for your dryer. Poor maintenance causes the dryer to overwork putting undue stress on the motor, bearings, belts and other parts of your dryer. Failure to properly maintain your dryer exhaust ducts will eventually result in a fire.