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Why Are My Clothes Drying So Slow?

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When your bought and installed your clothes dryer it should have worked great, drying clothes in one cycle, and since then it has declined. Many would attribute this change to age or “wear and tear”, but it’s actually more than that. If your clothes dryer is taking more than one cycle to dry an appropriately sized load of clothes, then there is a problem with your dryer. The most common reasons for a dryer failing to do the job it’s supposed to do is a heat element burning out or a ventilation issue.

Trouble Shooting Your Clothes Dryer

If you think your clothes dryer is working poorly, then you can check it out before calling in a professional.

  1. First, you should feel the dryer during and after a cycle. If the dryer is warm, then the heat element is working. If the dryer is warming up the area around it, even heating up the room where it’s located, then you most likely have a venting issue. A dryer is designed to vent excess heat. It shouldn’t add heat to the home if the vent hose is working.
  2. Check the vent flap on the outside of the house to make sure it is venting. Hold a hand in front of it to feel for warm air, make sure it opens as it should and is not clogged with lint or other debris.
  3. Remove the lint “trap” and wash it with warm, soapy water. Let it air dry, and return it to the dryer. This should be repeated monthly and will mostly help even if it doesn’t resolve the problem completely.

If your clothes continue to dry slower than they should, you can assume the dryer vent is clogged. Clogged dryer vents are a leading cause of house fires in the United States, accounting for 2900 house fires per year. This number is decreasing, but will remain a problem until clothes dryer safety is taken as seriously as chimney safety. Most homeowners don’t even know that local codes regulate how the dryer vent is installed, how many turns it can make, how long it is, and more. Most wouldn’t know there’s a problem with the clothes dryer at all because we assume it’s normal for dryers to take more cycles as they get older. This isn’t the case.

Click here for tips to protect your home from your clothes dryer, and call Hudson Chimney to have it cleaned regularly. Hudson Chimney specializes in dryer vent cleaning as part of a full menu of services designed to keep our customers safe. Find out how we can help you.