Laundry is the bane of my existence. Over the past several months, I have been noticing my clothes dryer taking longer and longer to dry our laundry, thereby increasing the amount of time I spend processing the laundry. Boo hiss.
I have been noting my discontent with this appliance to my husband who says, "So call a repairman." This, coming from the man who normally just fixes everything himself, is a surprise.
Nonetheless, I keep
forgetting putting off the call, hoping that the magical appliance repair fairy will come in the middle of the night so that when I wake up one day it will be fixed all on its own. After returning from our vacation and realizing that this situation was not going to resolve itself (darn you appliance repair fairy!), I made the call.
First, the actually appliance repairman came out and for $49.95 informed me that there was nothing wrong with my dryer. Huh?
"Yes, ma'am. What you need is to have your dryer vent cleaned."
My, what? My dryer vent. The big long tube that connects my dryer to the outside world so that the air can be removed from my dryer, and with it, the water from my clothes.
My second call was to the dryer vent cleaning company. (Yes, there are entire companies devoted to nothing more than cleaning dryer vents - I was as surprised as you are.) The first thing the serviceman did was to take the tube off the back of my dryer to show me how much lint was built up in there.
It was completely clogged. He proceeded to clean out the entire vent, and he also took my dryer apart to show me how much lint was built up on the inside of my dryer around the motor.
As bad as all this was, the worst part was when he told me how much of a fire hazard this is. Because my dryer wasn't drying, I kept running cycle after cycle after cycle, which could have caused my heating element to overheat or my fuse to spark and go out. Either could have sparked and caused a huge fire.
My laundry room shares a wall with Miss H's bedroom. I wanted to cry. What if? I can barely even think it. Having a fire in my house is one of my biggest fears. The repairman even gave me a reprint of an article in the newspaper from last month about a house fire at a home in our town that caused $60,000 worth of damage because of built up dryer lint.
So what did I learn? If it takes longer than 30 minutes for your clothes to dry, there is a problem. If the problem is a clogged dryer vent, you have a fire hazard on your hand. For $79, I have a completely clean vent, a dryer that works, and the knowledge to help prevent a fire in my house (and yours!)