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Timely Tips #2

By: Avi Goldstein

A Breath of Fresh Air

“Help! I’m choking,” said the dryer.

Funny as this sounds, your appliances have to breathe. Although every appliance needs its airspace, the dryer is the appliance which will be most directly affected by poor air circulation. As the seasons change upon us here in Israel, we get many calls from people whose dryers aren’t heating.

And our first reaction is to check the vents. At this time of year birds like to make their nests in the warm dryer exhaust. A blocked exhaust will not allow the dryer to heat up properly.

But more than just nests, blocked or inadequate venting will affect performance. Poor air flow causes the heat to back up inside the dryer. If the heat is not escaping, the thermostat shuts off the heat before the clothes can dry.

Experience has shown me that inadequate venting is the root for most dryer problems. A case in point. One of my customers has a large family and 2 Maytag dryers. Because of the set up in the laundry room they were poorly exhausted. The dryers were in constant need of attention. After about 5 or 7 years of this we came up with a creative solution to get the dryers close to the outside wall (we actually stacked the dryers one on top of the other and moved the control panels). 12 years or so later both dryers are still working with only routine maintenance type service calls.

So, what can we do?

  •  Make sure the venting is adequate. Most dryers call for a minimum 4” vent pipe.
  •  Keep the vent as short as possible. The longer the vent, the harder the dryer has to work to exhaust the air.
  • Use a good vent pipe, preferably a solid pipe or flexible aluminum. The white plastic vent pipe is a fire hazard and not up to U S standards for dryer venting
  • Clean the dryer vent periodically. Lint accumulates and restricts the airflow and is also a fire hazard.
  • Have the insides of the dryer cleaned periodically. Lint accumulates inside the dryer also and will affect performance.

About the Author:
Avi Goldstein is the manager of Goldstein & Berger Appliances. He has been servicing American major appliances in Israel for 20 years. Timely tips is an irregular feature of his website

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