I think we can all agree that an overheated dryer is the last thing someone wants to deal with. According to multiple sources, dryers typically last 10-13 years if well cared for and overheating is kept to a minimum. Not sure what you can be doing? We’ve rounded up a few easy ways to help you prevent your dryer from overheating and reducing the fire risk.
1. Clean Out the Lint Trap or Filter
Dryer fires start when air circulation is blocked or uneven. Lint buildup can clog a crucial air pathway, cause heat buildup in a duct, and lead to your unit overheating. As a result, this could possibly start a fire. Cleaning the lint filter takes less than 10 seconds and should be done after every load of laundry dried. The lint filter is usually located towards the front of the dryer or on the door and is easily removable.
Another essential step to prevent overheating is to and clean the exhaust vent both inside and outside of the home. Disconnect the exhaust tube and vacuum it out. Sometimes there are two slats in the duct outdoors that need to be removed and cleaned. Additionally, remove any leaves, grass, or debris that can pile up and block the air flow through the outdoor airway.
2. Steer Clear of Overloading
The general rule of thumb with dryers is that the more clothes there are in the load to dry, the more heat a dryer has to generate. Overloading your dryer with clothes causes it to generate more heat than is typically produced and to exhaust the heating element. Another issue with overloading is that the excess laundry can overstimulate the sensors in the dryer’s drum. The tumbling of excess weight from overloading can also damage the sensors, inhibiting their ability to sense an increasing temperature and prevent overheating.
3. Clear the Vent Exhaust
Another essential step to prevent your dryer from overheating is to head outside and clear the vent exhaust. Sometimes there are two slats in the duct outdoors that need to be removed and cleaned. Additionally, remove any leaves, grass, or debris that can pile up and block the air flow through the outdoor airway.
4. Clean and Dust Behind the Dryer
Cleaning behind your dryer might be the last thing you want to check off your chore list. However, this easy maintenance step helps to keep your appliance working correctly. Lint and dust often build up around the inlet vents, especially after multiple drying cycles. These vents are usually located on the back and bottom side of your dryer. Using a long-handled duster once every two weeks can take care of any buildup that could potentially clog the incoming air circulation.