Much of what I do these days starts of pretty basic, but turns into a bit more of a project. Part of the reason is most of the dryer ducting in homes is part of the mechanical systems and is tucked away in places most people don’t want to venture. So the problem that may be easily noticed when seen, may only be discovered when other symptoms begin to develop.
I have talked endlessly about dryer venting. It is much of what I do in my quest to educate and enlighten homeowners on how to get the best performance out of their dryer all while preventing unexpected and potentially costly problems. But I really don’t make it a habit to randomly knock on doors to speak my truth, as they say, so instead, I get to wait until a problem occurs and now I can help provide the solution.
This customer had contacted me because she had noticed the dryer was not running well, meaning the clothes where not getting dryer. After all, what else do you want out of your dryer. The most likely thought is the venting needs to be cleaned and after 17 years in the home (she built it so she should know) of never having it done, maybe it was time.
I always inspect dryer vent systems because I want to try and get as much information as I can, and I simply find them fascinating. The various ways people run these vents, and still expect the dryer to work properly is mind boggling, but my criticism of home builders will come at another time. For now, I simply want to know what i am dealing with and it is usually what is not easily seen that can be the problem. In this case, the ducting was great in the laundry room and really not dirty at all. At least not enough to explain the limited airflow coming out of the dryer vent cover. A little work was required to get to the ducting in between and sure enough the problem was located.
I find flexible metal ducting in places it shouldn’t be so often, it no longer surprises me. And I know the reason. The stuff is cheap (sorry, inexpensive) and easy to make go where you want it to go. The problem is, is it is not meant to be put in places that are not easy to see or access. You see the ridges you see on the outside or often on the inside and well and thus a great place to catch lint. Plus, since we have gravity on this planet, the place you put it may not be the place you find it down the road.
So the solution is simple. Get rid of the stuff and put in the proper code compliant ducting. I specifically stress code compliant because even the big big box stores don’t always carry the proper stuff and putting in something cheap will only find you back doing it again soon. But then again, that is why I am in business.