A very common issue we deal with on FixYa is clothes dryers that are taking too long to dry clothes. Here's a few tips on keeping your drying time to the minimum.
1. Check and empty your lint trap before each load
. If air flow is restricted, your dryer will need longer to get the job done. A clean lint trap will allow for maximum intake air to the dryer blower.
2. Check the exhaust ductwork for lint buildup
. If the 4" ductwork that carries your warm, moist, lint-laden air to the exterior of your home is blocked with years of lint and moisture, chances are pretty good your dryer is taking longer than it should to get your clothes dry.
- Disconnect the dryer power cord (and gas line if a gas unit), slide the dryer forward far enough to access the 4" ductwork clamp at the back of the dryer. Disconnect the ductwork at the dryer and separate to inspect both in the dryer exhaust duct and the ductwork as well.
- Remove all built up lint. You may need to access under the floor, or in the crawlspace, or basement to get at all the areas that lint may be built up. Remember that when there's an elbow (turn) chances are pretty good there's lint in there, so take the time to separate the ductwork where needed to give it a thorough cleanout.
- Long straight sections of ductwork can be easily cleaned by purchasing a "webster" style pole brush.
- Clean the exhaust duct of the dryer but be careful not to damage anything inside your dryer
- Reconnect and turn the dryer on air fluff to blow the rest out.
3. Remove lint build up from inside the machine
- Turn power off again
- Remove the front cover of your dryer
- Remove the front drum support/air duct from the front of the dryer
- Carefully vacuum the lint out of the dryer with soft brush attachment on your vac. Be careful not to damage any ignitor or electrical items.
- Clean the inside of the lint trap duct of sediment/ buildup
4. Make sure your washing machine is spinning the water out of your loads correctly
. This one is pretty obvious, but it bears mentioning.
If your clothes feel wetter than normal, it's definitely going to take longer to dry. Be sure to wash "like" items. A medium/large load of towels is better than a towel and 5 cotton shirts ( that towel will throw the load off balance and your machine won't spin as fast to get the water out).
5. Medium-sized loads dry faster than mega-large-cram-it-in loads.
The idea of getting all you can into a dryer (or washer) to save time and money will end up costing you both time and money. I've seen this played out many times in my laundromats: You will find that a medium, loosely packed load will dry faster and with less wrinkles and less ironing needed.
Using these guidelines will help keep your drying times to a minimum and also allow your machine to work for many years to come.