If your patience is running low because your dryer takes too long to dry a load of laundry, there are a few easy things you can do to help your dryer—and yourself—operate more efficiently.
Get rid of lint everywhere it collects
Your dryer exhausts moist, warm air outdoors through a vent pipe. A lint clog anywhere in the venting path makes your dryer work harder and take longer to dry a load. A really bad clog can make your dryer overheat and shut down. And because lint is flammable, lint buildup is a fire hazard that causes almost 1000 house fires each year.
To keep your dryer working at peak efficiency, follow these tips to make sure it can vent moist air easily.
Clean the lint filter after every load. While you're at it, check the filter housing for lint buildup.
Check your dryer’s vent hose for any pinches, crimps or other restrictions. Refer to your owner's manual for venting instructions.
Remove buildup from the vent hood or damper outside, and make sure the flapper door opens all the way when the dryer is running.
At least once a year, use a soft, nylon brush to clean the inside of the vent hose.
Clean the sensor bars
Most newer dryers have moisture sensor bars behind the lint filter housing. Dryer sheets can leave a film on the sensor bars that decrease the bars' accuracy, so if you use dryer sheets, wipe the bars with a clean rag dampened with rubbing alcohol to remove the residue.
Don't overload the dryer
Only dry one washer load of clothes at a time. Don’t combine wash loads to make one large load for the dryer. Overloading your dryer wastes energy because it takes longer to dry the load. Overloading causes laundry to wrinkle, too.
As strange as it might sound, not putting enough laundry in the dryer also can lead to longer drying times because there’s not enough weight to ensure the proper tumbling. Make sure you have enough items in the dryer so the load tumbles.
Check wash cycles and settings
Clothes wetter than normal from the washer increase the drying time. Check that the washing machine cycle is set correctly. Some fabrics will feel wetter when rinsed with cold water. Your owner’s manual lists what cycle to use with different types of clothes. Reduce the load size in the washer, especially for towels or heavier items.
Improper sorting of laundry can lead to laundry taking too long to dry, so you should separate heavy items from lightweight items in the dryer. Generally, a well-sorted washer load is a well-sorted dryer load.
Also, make sure the dryer’s heat setting matches the load you’re drying. If you try to dry heavy towels on the same low-heat setting you use for delicates, it’s going to take a lot longer for the towels to dry completely.
A rattling noise or lack of air flow through the dryer could indicate that the blower wheel is damaged. Follow the steps in this repair guide to replace the blower wheel in your dryer.
If the dryer heats initially but then stops heating, the problem is usually the gas valve coils. This step-by-step guide explains how to replace the gas valve coils in a gas dryer.
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