Now that fall is here, you will notice a couple of common things that happen each and every year.
First, the leaves start falling, the lawn needs cutting less and less, and the advice begins pouring in.
The advice I’m talking about is – of course – the many lists that pop up in home improvement magazines, email newsletters, and columns just like mine.
While most of these lists are excellent to follow, and I do advocate reading and paying attention to all the experts, I like to highlight specific ones each year that involve both safety and saving money.
Fall and winter bring cooler nights and those eventual colder days when we all start dressing warmer and putting on the layers. These layers involve sweaters, fleece jackets, and those cozy shirts.
All of these things get washed, and yes, find their way into your dryer, the focus of this month’s column.
The dryer in your home is one of the most used appliances, especially if you have children in the home. But it is also one of the most neglected.
Fire departments across the continent will tell you that many of the residential fires they attend are caused by dryers and the clogged ducting and vents.
Safety is important, of course, but it can be coupled with cost in this case as well, the cost of running an inefficiently ducted and vented dryer. Clogged dryers cost you money in a variety of ways:
1. They run longer because they can’t get rid of moisture in your clothes efficiently, running up gas and electric bills.
2. They eventually break down because they are working too hard and the stress on the motor and other parts takes its toll.
3. They begin to smell and can become a health hazard in extreme cases, needing cleaning and servicing by technicians.
With all of that said, there are simple solutions available to everybody, and most of them can be done by you.
At this time of the year, when you’re thinking about cleaning gutters and putting away hoses and lawnmowers, you should also pull out the dryer and give it a good vacuum and inspection.
If the existing ducts and vents look good and are all attached properly with clamps and tape, you may have to undo where it is attached to the dryer.
Please do this carefully and don’t risk cutting yourself or damaging anything. If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, you should be able to find a contractor, handyman, or friend to help.
If you find that the ducting is bent, crimped, flat, or disconnected in some way, and it all just appears to be hooked up improperly, you should call someone to inspect it and offer a quote to fix it.
The old, white, plastic corrugated ducting is not approved anymore and should be replaced with new materials. I like to replace old ducting with solid piping, the type used for the heating ducting. It’s inexpensive and much better for air flow and for cleaning.
If you have any doubts at all about the efficiency and safety of your dryer ducting and venting, please call someone for a free quote and inspection, and always do your homework.
Stay safe and warm as fall and winter approach and do pay attention to all of those lists out there.
– Handyman Morgan Jensen will answer your home improvement questions. Visit his website at www.jbshomeimprovement.ca or send your questions to email@example.com.