Last year I made a Sustainable Saturday post about checking and cleaning your dryer vent. This week I will talk about the next level, especially if your dryer is taking longer than it used to. Dryer cleaning is not just about the outside, it includes the inner workings of the machine itself.
I started on this project because my dryer was not getting clothes dry in a reasonable amount of time. I took off the vent pipe and cleaned it along with the vent of the side of the house. It was not bad and even contained less lint than usual. I decided to look inside the dryer as I know things can get bad in there too. I took off the back and it still did not look bad, but I cleaned and vacuumed everything anyway. With the back off I had easy access to motor and vent connection. On my unit there is a lint filter on the top that has a tube leading to the fan and then out the dryer. When I removed the tube I found the problem.
In the tube where the blower mounts there is a channel that accumulated lint and debris. The channel helps move the warm moist air out into the vent pipe, so when it is blocked the amount of air moved is reduced. I was surprised how much stuff had accumulated there. I pulled a couple handfuls of stuff out and then vacuumed it out so it was clear.
This is a typical design that I have seen before while doing repairs. The next time you clean out the vent I suggest going a little further and do a thorough dryer cleaning by taking off the back (or front on some models) and vacuum the inside as well as cleaning out the blower housing.
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