One way to keep your clothes dryer in good working order is to know the warning signs that can tip you off that something will go wrong if you don't act soon. It's best to be able to head off a problem before it becomes serious and the dryer no longer works or the problem leads to a fire.
Here are some of the warning signs to look for.
Clothes have a musty or mildew smell after you have run them through their cycle - This can tell you that while the dryer is trying to work, the moisture is not able to escape. This is a warning sign of a clog in the line or the blower is not working properly. Restricted air flow causes the dryer to work harder, eventually overheating and causing a fire.
Dryer repeatedly shuts off during a cycle - While you won't always have a perfectly dry load of laundry from one drying cycle, the dryer should at least finish the cycle. If it doesn't you could be dealing with a larger problem such as an element getting too hot in the dryer and causing it to overheat and ultimately shut down. This overheating could be caused by dust and lint clogging up the system and restricting air flow.
A lot of lint coming through the back of the dryer - There are certain tools in place on your dryer that are meant to catch the lint that comes off the machine. Your lint trap is the main one of these. But if there is too much lint for it to deal with, some of that lint will get past the trap and can get stuck in other parts of the machine. If you notice lint coming out of the back of your machine, you likely have an overload of lint and your machine may need a professional cleaning.
Some lint on the lint vent cover - If you are keeping an eye on how things are going in your dryer, another place to watch is outside. What things look like where the vent duct terminates outside your house can tell you a lot about the health of your dryer. If there is lint on this vent cover, it's telling you there is a lot of lint inside the line. This could mean there is lint clogging up various areas of your dryer as well. This will cause your dryer to run less efficiently, and eventually pose a fire threat as any spark in the line could set the whole thing ablaze.
Not a lot of lint in the lint trap - After a few uses of your dryer you should have a pretty good idea how much lint comes off each load of clothes you put through the system. If you start noticing considerably less lint in the trap this is warning. It's not likely that your clothes are suddenly sending off less lint, but rather the lint is going somewhere else, inside the dryer. This can become very dangerous and needs to be stopped. It's time to call in a professional to take the system apart and figure out what is going wrong.
There are plenty of warning signs that things are starting to go wrong with your clothes dryer. Many people choose to ignore the signs and wait until things get out of hand. But, by acting early, you can be sure your dryer is operating efficiently to save on energy bills and prevent a fire.
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