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So…How Long Did You Say It Takes To Dry Your Clothes?

About 1 out of 10 dryer calls I get this problem.  Dryer heats up and runs fine but for some reason it takes hours to get one load dry.  I have seen this issue in two different scenarios.

In one situation it is a mechanical problem which I won’t go into here because most folks aren’t going to know what I’m talking about.  The other situation occurs due to lack of maintenance and I want you to avoid an unnecessary service call charge so I’m going to tell you what to look for.About blocked dryer exhaust

The picture here to the right is split.  The upper half shows a crushed exhaust and the lower half a severely constricted exhaust viewed looking inside the duct.

A crushed exhaust happens when you push the dryer too far back and simply smash the exhaust so no air can get through.  If the duct isn’t completely smashed just pull the unit away from the wall and give it about 5″ to breathe from the wall.  If it’s crushed you will need to get a new duct.  They are cheap at Home Depot or Lowes.

The second situation is not so simple.  This build up of lint can run all the way up the inside of the duct in the wall.  Very few people I meet have ever had their dryer exhaust duct cleaned and don’t know who to call.  I am not talking about the duct you can buy at the store.  This is literally a pipe that runs out to the roof or through the wall to the outside of the house.  It is part of the house.

In both these scenarios your dryer can’t move air.  So your wet clothes create a sauna effect and you will notice a mildew smell after they are done.

To know for sure your dryer is not the problem simply pull the duct off the dryer at the back and use the dryer.  It will be warm in the house and a little dusty but if that dryer dries your clothes in an hour or less you now know the dryer is not the problem.  Service fee money saved!

Now that we didn’t use money for a pointless service fee to learn the dryer was okay… we can put that money toward a chimney sweep.  I can recommend one locally but you can also Google them and fine plenty of companies that do this.

In my opinion a good chimney sweep is going to clean your ducts in this manner:

  • The chimney sweep guy is going to inspect the exhaust connected to the dryer as well as the one in your wall and let you know what you need.
  • When cleaning the duct in the wall he will use a blower to push lint out of the duct while using a long brush (these brushes are flexible and can be extended to any length) to scrub the duct clean.
  • The blower is attached to one end in the house and then taken outside to blow down from the other side.

That’s a bit more than using your leaf blower.  I know you were thinking it.  I’ve seen it before I know.

This is a serious issue.  Should your dryer catch fire the fire will go all up the wall where the lint is.  So if your dryer is taking long to dry it may be trying to tell you something.

Well that’s all I have to say about long dry times.  If you have comments, questions, or concerns feel free to leave me a comment below.

Ket Lilly

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