Todays topic is near and dear to my heart because it really is the basis for most of my dryer vent cleaning work.  I would love to say people are by now well aware of the need to periodically clean out their dryer ducting not only for dryer efficiency, but household safety.  But the reality is my phone rings because someone else it telling the homeowner this needs to be done.  And this person is usually an appliance repair technician.

Dryers are simple devices.  Please pay attention.  They make warm air and tumble clothes.  That is pretty much the extent of their design. All the fancy features, cycles and other do-dads they posses are all wrapped around the tumbling and the heating thing.  So the purpose of this article is really to help the homeowner understand when they need dryer repair and when they need their dryer vent cleaned.

Because of the simplicity of the dryer, it comes down to a basic set of questions.

  1. Is my dryer heating and tumbling the clothes?  If the answer is no, call an appliance repair technician.  I happen to be one by the way.  If the answer is yes, next question.
  2. Is my dryer heating and tumbling the clothes but they still are not dry?  If the answer is no, everything is fine.  If the answer is yes, time to clean the dryer ducting.

I am not attempting to make light of the situation but as I said above, most of my work comes from appliance repair technicians.  They get calls from customers because the dryer is not drying the clothes. Sounds like a problem to me, but we need to understand there is a difference between not drying and not heating.  The appliance repair technician arrives to find a dryer that heats and tumbles (which is what a dryer does) and now they need to figure out why the customer called.

The third leg of the dryer being able to dry is airflow and that is where the dryer is dependent on the mechanical systems of the home.  If the dryer is heating and tumbling, but cannot move air due to poorly maintained ducting, the clothes will never dry.  Or they will take multiple cycles to dry.  So now the appliance repair technician is left explaining how the dryer works and really unable to resolve the issue for the customer.  Ideally they refer the customer to someone like me, or they may just point the customer to Google for dryer vent cleaning suggestions.

The moral of this article is to hopefully impart some knowledge on us homeowners so you can save some time and money.  Why pay to have an appliance repair technician come to your home, only to tell you there is nothing they can do and to call someone else.  Instead ask yourself the questions above.  Because if the dryer is tumbling the clothes and making heat, the dryer is doing what it was designed to do.  Now it is time to call someone that can improve the airflow for the dryer