360 lbs CO2 Per Year
$34 Savings Per Year
If the dryer cannot provide enough heat, or move air sufficiently through the clothes, they will take longer to dry, and may not dry at all.
This is an ongoing action.
This seems like such a simple thing. Most of us do this as a matter of course whenever we dry a load of laundry in our dryer. Forgetting to do it, however, adds up to a significant cost. Not only does it make your dryer run less efficiently (depending on the level of lint and your specific type of dryer, it can reduce the efficiency by 75%), it also forces your dryer to work harder and can contribute to a shorter lifespan for your dryer.
However, that’s just one step in the process. There are additional steps you can take which will maximize the airflow into and out of your dryer, making it run more efficiently. A more efficient dryer is a dryer that costs less to run per load and has a longer lifespan, saving you money both now and later.
First, make sure the external opening for your dryer vent is clear. If you don’t know where your dryer vent is, spend some time tracing the vent that goes out of the back of your dryer. One method is to simply inspect the outside of your house, particularly on a very cold day, when the dryer is running. At my home, if the temperature is below freezing, there is obvious steam coming out of the dryer vent. Cleaning it is easy. Just lift up whatever is guarding the trap and remove any lint or debris that is filling the exit. Ours tends to fill with debris about every six months or so and it makes our dryer run much less efficiently.
Next, once a year or so, get Dryer vent cleaning professionals to clean out your dryer vent completely. This is a straightforward process, but it does take a bit of time and requires you to move your dryer. eHow has a great step-by-step guide for the process if you want to do it yourself. Many people tend to do this only when they install (or have someone install) a new dryer – and they’re often shocked as to the incredible level of lint and other materials that have built up in the vent. Quite often, that material has caused the person’s dryer to work much harder than it otherwise would have, bringing on a dryer replacement much sooner than would otherwise have been needed and also using more energy per load, adding to the usage cost of the dryer.
A final tip: occasionally wash your lint filter. That’s right, pull out that lint filter wash it with soap and water. Why does that make a difference? As Snopes explains it, “[j]ust removing the lint from the lint filter isn’t always enough – the fine mesh of most dryer filters can be clogged in ways that aren’t obvious at a casual glance.” A quick scrube and rinse in warm soapy water will do the trick.