How to Improve Dryer Efficiency

Has your dryer extended the amount of time it needs to effectively dry a load of laundry? A busy family has no time to keep up with the overwhelming mountain of laundry that can accumulate when the machines are too slow to do their jobs well. It becomes both inconvenient and expensive to continuously run the dryer through two cycles just to come up with the same end result: a completely dry load of laundry.

dryer efficiency

Most homeowners believe that this extended dry time is simply an indicator that it’s time to purchase a new dryer. However, you can take a lot of little steps to improve the overall efficiency of your dryer without investing in a new appliance.

Homeowners should be aware of all these tips and tricks to get your dryer to run more effectively on a much smaller budget.

Clean Out the Dryer

The biggest problem that prevents your dryer from working effectively is a buildup of lint. While you may be diligent about cleaning out the lint trap, that isn’t the only place where this pesky fuzz accumulates.

When the lint trap is full, it isn’t uncommon to find lint that travels to other locations within the dryer. Most notably, it tends to end up in the silver foil tubing that connects the dryer to your outside vent.

Once in a while, you’ll need to actually pull your dryer out and disconnect the foil tubing to take a look inside. Pull out what you can with your hands, but you’ll need a powerful vacuum to suck up the rest. You’re likely to be shocked at the sheer amount of lint that can accumulate here.

Keep in mind that this is essential for your safety as well. Lint that’s left unattended can clog the unit and start a major house fire. Even if your dryer is running fine right now, this is still an extremely necessary step to help protect your largest asset.

Clean the Outside Vent

Can you remember the last time you paid any attention to the outside vent for your dryer? Chances are it hasn’t occurred to you in quite some time.

Be sure to head outside every couple of weeks to make sure that you don’t have too much lint clogging the vent. This could result in a buildup of the same fuzz that can spark fires in other parts of the appliance.

Not only that, but the clogged vent prevents air from circulating and keeps clothes from drying thoroughly. If you’re unsure of how to get to your dryer vent or don’t feel comfortable doing the task yourself, it’s best to let the professionals do it. Dryer vent cleaning isn’t something that should be halfway done because your home and family’s safety is at risk.

Clean the Lint Trap

clean lint

You may be accustomed to removing the lint from the lint trap at the end of each cycle, but when is the last time you cleaned it? According to experts, some of the common ingredients used in laundry, such as fabric softener, can cause an invisible buildup on the mesh material.

The buildup that develops can prevent the unit from running efficiently, just the same as if you failed to remove the lint at the end of the cycle. It can also spark a fire if it’s continuously exposed to too much heat.

The best way to clean the lint trap is to soak it in hot water and scrub it with a brush and some mild soap. This should be abrasive enough to get rid of the film without damaging the mesh material underneath.

It’s recommended that homeowners perform this chore at least twice each year to prevent buildup.

Wash Your Laundry with Back-to-Back Loads

Most people prefer to get all of their laundry done in a single day so they don’t have to think about it again for the rest of the week. Doing back-to-back loads of laundry can actually help to improve dryer efficiency as well.

After you run the first load of laundry through the dryer, your appliance is already nice and hot. This makes it ideal for the subsequent load and can cut back on the drying time and the electricity needed to finish drying your items thoroughly.

Use the Moisture Sensor to Increase Dryer Efficiency

Dryers often come standard with a moisture sensor that’s optional to use on a given load of laundry. This capability allows the appliance to determine when your items are thoroughly dry.

Then, it can turn itself off and save you from running the dryer unnecessarily. Some people believe they can estimate how long a particular load of laundry will take to dry thoroughly.

However, they often overestimate and cause the dryer to run for far longer than is required to perform an adequate job.

Don’t Overload the Dryer

dryer efficiency

Are you ever tempted to add as many items as possible into the drum of your dryer so you only have to run it once? Unfortunately, cramming items into the dryer isn’t going to improve its efficiency.

You’ll actually decrease the amount of air circulation in and around your items, causing them to dry more slowly and to require a much longer drying cycle than you might otherwise need.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to add just a handful of items into the dryer for a single load. You need to find a balance that allows you to add as many items as possible while still giving them room to tumble and feel the hot air.

One way to ensure you don’t overload the dryer is to place similar items together. For example, dry all of your jeans at one time and your tops in a separate load.

Use the Delicate or Permanent-Press Option

If you’re only drying light items like shirts or blouses, you may not need a full dryer cycle. You can increase its energy-efficiency by opting for delicate cycles and permanent-press cycles.

These two options reduce the amount of heat required to dry the load and often infuse cool air into the drying process. This reduces the amount of electricity or gas that your dryer requires without sacrificing the convenience of actually drying your clothing.

Clean the Doors

When’s the last time you cleaned the inside of your dryer door? This isn’t a chore that often comes to mind for busy homeowners who are concerned with dryer efficiency.

However, this spot can acquire quite a thick film of lint and debris that not only makes your clothes dirty but lowers the efficiency of your appliance. Wipe it down with a damp rag between every few loads to help boost the efficiency and keep your clothes cleaner.

Maximize Your Dryer Efficiency with Early Times

If your dryer is taking too long to finish a load of clothes, you may want to try a few of these handy tips for improving its cycle.

You could find that your dryer still has a lot of life left in it when you take proper care of it. Save a few dollars on your energy bills this month and make your laundry day shorter with these helpful hints.

In order to truly make sure your dryer runs as safely and efficiently as possible, you need to get your dryer vent professionally cleaned. In such a case, you can count on Early Times for the most effective and efficient dryer vent cleaning service in all of Chicagoland. Get a free quote now for your next cleaning.

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