Archive for the ‘laundry’ category

Clothes Dryer Will Not Dry

February 8th, 2010

Question:

We have an electric dryer and our issue is excessive drying time due to 100 feet of elbows and 4-inch vent ductwork. The contractor who installed our radon system told us to install a booster fan, but the HVAC contractor told us to shorten the dryer duct and add 6-inch vent ductwork instead. This would result in a total of 23 vs 100 feet. What should we do?

Answer:

I like the idea of shortening the dryer vent duct and limiting bends. Increasing the size will also help if the connector through the wall is 6-inches. Make sure to use rigid, smooth duct and connections.

Adding a booster fan should be the last resort solution – it is just one more thing to maintain.

Cleaning Lint in the Clothes Dryer Vent Pipe

October 28th, 2009

Question:

We have a home that is about five years old and the clothes dryer vent goes through the floor, then travels about 10 feet between the finished floor and ceiling to an outside vent. We have noticed lint collecting near the vent outside. We clean the lint filter with each load of laundry but are concerned lint may collect inside the pipe and be a fire hazard. It is working properly now. Is there some way the vent pipe can be blown clean?

Answer:

Great Question! Clothes dryer manufacturers normally recommend a smooth metal vent pipe with minimal bends that can be checked and cleaned periodically. Vent pipes that pose the greatest risk are the flexible plastic vent pipes because lint can build up on the rough surface and the bends may not be smooth and uniform. The plastic pipe is also flammable.

If you know the existing vent is make of smooth metal with smooth metal elbows and fittings, you have limited risk. I still think you should try to vacuum out the vent every year through the inlet and discharge. You can use extensions on a shop vacuum. You could also try to blow it out with a shop vacuum. If you don’t have the equipment, contact a furnace duct cleaning company.

If you have a flexible, plastic vent pipe, it should be removed and replaced with a metal vent with smooth metal elbows and fittings.