Whether you have a gas or electric dryer, it relies on airflow to dry your clothing, which means the machine must be able to both take and emit air. Problems with the venting not only extend the time it takes to dry your clothing – wasting energy – but they can also cause harm to the dryer. You should fix them as soon as possible, which is usually not difficult.
What a Dryer Is and How It Works
When you turn on your dryer, an air intake blower activates together with the tumbler, and an electric heating element or gas ignitor activates at the same time. The dryer draws air into the heating chamber, where it is heated, before passing it through the tumbler. After passing the warm, moist air through a filter to eliminate lint, the dryer finally exhausts it through the vent. The heating element is cycled on and off by a pair of thermostats to keep the dryer from overheating. When everything is working well, a standard load can be dried in around 60 minutes.
The Consequences of a Blocked Vent
There will be consequences if the vents are blocked and the dryer is unable to evacuate air, advises Family Handyman. One is that moisture cannot escape, thus your garments take longer to dry in the dryer. Because the temperature of the air in the heating chamber quickly reaches a safe level, the cycling thermostat shuts off the heater more frequently to allow the chamber to cool, the drying time is extended even further.
The high limit thermostat also keeps an eye on the temperature and has the ability to turn off the heater. If the problem continues, the thermal fuse may blow, rendering the heating element or ignitor inoperable until the fuse is replaced.
The vent is normally located on an outside wall, and it’s not uncommon for lint to accumulate on the cap and obstruct the aperture. Birds and small animals may nest in the vent if it isn’t capped to take advantage of the warm air. Lint can collect inside the pipe at any point, but especially when it bends. Lint is normally harsher inside a corrugated vent pipe than it is inside a straight one, and it can be even worse if the vent runs through a chilly region, such as a crawlspace or attic, where condensation forms inside the pipe.
What Should You Do?
Regularly disconnecting the dryer vent from both the dryer and the capped opening and clearing out the lint is an important part of good dryer vent cleaning near me. Some people accomplish this using an air blower, while others use a vacuum cleaner. A vent brush, which is similar to a chimney-sweeping brush with a long, flexible handle, is recommended by the Repair Clinic. If you have overheating issues despite cleaning the vents regularly, the vent may be excessively lengthy, have too many bends, or be made of the improper material. The dryer may need to be relocated as a result of the correction.
In a Tumble Dryer, There’s a Burning Smell
If your dryer is overheating, you should take action immediately to prevent a dryer fire. Over 15,000 household fires were caused by clothes dryers between 2006 and 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association. While dryer faults can cause fires, blocked vents are a more prevalent source of insufficient ventilation. This is a problem that every homeowner can fix and prevent in the future.
- Blocked vents are a significantly more common cause of overheating. The lint filter rarely captures all of the lint, and if you have flexible duct pipes, the lint that makes its way into the vents can get caught on corrugations. It also gathers in duct pipe bends and drooping lengths. When the vents are clogged, hot air from the heating chamber or tumbler cannot escape, causing the dryer to overheat.
- The remedy is to use a vent brush to clean the vents. The circulation fan may be broken if the vents are clear yet there isn’t much circulation at the vent output. The dryer cover must be removed in order to inspect it.
Anatomy of a Dryer
Both gas and electric dryers have a similar structure. Under the tumbler, a shielded chamber houses the heating element, and the tumbler’s driving engine also operates a fan that circulates air through the heating chamber. To dry the clothes, air enters through a vent on the front or back of the machine. One or two thermostats cycle the heater on and off, enabling the dryer to cool before re-starting it.
Failure of the Thermostat
It’s conceivable that the cycling thermostat is malfunctioning if you notice a burning smell that indicates the dryer is overheating. Unplug the device, turn off the gas if you have a gas dryer, then remove the front cover to inspect it. To find the thermostat, you’ll probably need to consult the owner’s manual. Disconnect it and place the leads of an ohmmeter across its terminals to test its operation. If the reading is not zero, the thermostat is defective and must be replaced. Thermostats in dryers, on the other hand, don’t fail very often.
Dryer Fire Prevention
Smooth metal pipes, rather than corrugated foil or fiberglass, are recommended by Consumer Reports for dryer vents. Lint catches in the corrugations of the latter two, causing them to sag. Metal vent pipes also contain fires better. Even with the correct pipes, long or curved vents might collect lint. The maximum vent length for your dryer model is generally determined by the manufacturer. Regularly clean the dryer vents, as well as the area around and surrounding it.