If you are like me and are forbidden from hanging your clothes outside, on the patio of your apartment, then the next best way to save money from the clothes dryer is to keep the vents clean.

Clogged up vents cause your dryer to work harder to dry the clothes you have tossed in it, sometimes you have to run the dryer twice to get a load of clothes dried enough to hang up. Just taking the time to clean out these vents cuts down on the electricity costs of running a dryer twice to dry a load of laundry, but also keep the dryer from wearing out earlier. And let's not forget the peace of mind that the dryer won't cause a house fire. (news video)

Start with taking out the dryer vent and cleaning off the lint. Then wash of  the filter under cold water with a brush or rag. The reason you want to wash the filter is to remove the film on the wire mesh that builds up from dryer sheets. The cleaner the filter, the dryer your clothes.

flickr/cc - joanna8555
Some dryers have a moisture sensor, keeping the sensor screen clean from buildup will also help to make the dryer work more efficiently.

Next, pull the dryer away from the wall and unhook the longer vent on the back. Using the wand from a vacuum, suck out any lint built up within the vent tubing and also from the vent that flows to the outside. If necessary, check the venting on the outside of your home and clean away any lint that has built up as it flowed to the outside.

So, keeping the lint filter clean is one simple way to increase the efficiency and lifespan (and decrease the operating costs) of your dryer. Just removing the lint from the 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.

While you're at it, don't toss out the dryer lint, there are other uses for dryer lint, per Jeff Yeager (video) and remember, that lint you see is money out the vent, as much as $70,000!

3 Comments

  1. Kathleen // Wednesday, September 15, 2010 7:46:00 PM  

    I would disagree. The next best way to save money on drying your clothes is to buy a drying rack and hang-dry your clothes indoors. If you're diligent about it, you can almost stop using the dryer. The only things I use it for today are sheets and towels.

  2. FinCar // Friday, September 17, 2010 11:18:00 PM  

    Maintenance proves to be one of the most effective way to save money. Taking care your appliances will bring much more effectiveness to its purpose. And this would actually reduce the use of electricity on the other hand.

  3. Frugal Life UK // Saturday, September 18, 2010 10:50:00 AM  

    wow ! what fascist dictatorship says you can't hang your own laundry outside your own property!!!! you live in the land of the free!!!! I don't own a drier and like loads of Brits we always hang our laundry outside even on balconies of apartments if they don't own gardens - you could use a indoors clothes rack and hang it by an open window when it's warm enough to have the windows open, or half dry in the drier and finish on the rack - shame you can't hang the clothes outside.