A clothes dryer last about 15 years on average, but your dryer can serve you longer if you understand how to take good care of it.
The actual lifespan of your dryer depends on factors like how often you use it, whether you habitually overload it and how consistent you are about cleaning the lint trap.
And your dryer’s longevity also depends on how well you maintain it. Following the use and care advice in the dryer’s manual can extend the dryer’s life beyond the average. Proper cleaning and maintenance help too.
Here are some valuable tips that can help keep your dryer working for many years to come.
Tips for Using Your Clothes Dryer
Following these dryer usage tips will help your dryer last longer.
Clean the Lint Screen
Remove the lint from the dryer’s lint screen after every load. If you use fabric softener or dryer sheets, wash the lint screen using water and soft-bristled brush every few months to remove fabric softener buildup on the screen. Let the lint screen dry completely before reinstalling it in your dryer.
Keeping the lint screen clean goes a long way toward helping your clothes dryer work efficiently and last longer.
Don’t Overload the Dryer
Overloading the dryer puts extra strain on the drive belt and motor. The motor and belt wear out faster when you frequently overload the dryer. The dryer also has to run longer when you overload it because air can’t flow through the dryer properly. The longer run times combined with extra strain on the motor and drive belt shortens the life of the dryer.
Only fill the dryer with reasonable sized loads. Most dryers can dry a load the size of 8 to 10 bath towels or 6 to 8 jeans at a time. If you’re trying to dry larger loads and the cycle takes a long time to finish, lighten the loads that you’re drying.
Clean the Outside of the Dryer
Help preserve the paint and prevent the body from rusting by wiping the dryer yearly with a cloth moistened with plain water. Preserving the metal cabinet will help the dryer last longer.
Tips for Caring for Your Clothes Dryer
Following these dryer maintenance tips can lengthen your dryer’s life expectancy.
Clean the Exhaust Vent System
A clogged vent system makes the dryer work harder to dry a load and shortens the lifespan of the dryer. Cleaning the lint screen after every use goes a long way toward keeping the vent path clear. But you also need to clean the vent to the outside. Follow these steps to clear the dryer’s exhaust system at least once a year.
Unplug the dryer and clean the flexible vent hose behind the dryer. A long-handled appliance brush and a vacuum cleaner are the best tools for the task.
Clear lint and debris from the vent duct going to the outside of your home. If you can’t reach the vent yourself, schedule a dryer vent cleaning with Sears Home Services.
Make sure the vent hood damper outside your house moves freely.
When you’re done, turn on the dryer, head outside and make sure air flows from the vent hood outside your home. If not, look for a clog in the venting path.
Clean the Moisture Sensor
Many dryers have metal sensor bars that detect moisture in clothing as the load tumbles and signal the dryer to shut off when the laundry is dry.
Fabric softener residue and lint coat the moisture sensor bars over time, interfering with how well the sensors work and making the dryer shut off before the load is dry. Restarting the dryer to finish the load puts more wear on your dryer and can eventually shorten its life.
Clean the moisture sensor bars with a cloth moistened in water every 6 months or sooner if you see the moisture bars coated with lint and fabric softener residue.
Schedule Annual Maintenance Checks
Scheduling an annual preventive maintenance check goes a long way toward making your dryer last longer. It also helps maker your dryer be safer: Lint can catch on fire if the dryer overheats because it can’t vent properly.
Each year, have a service technician clean inside the dryer where you can’t reach to prevent dangerous lint buildup. The tech will also check all other dryer functions and make adjustments to keep your dryer in top shape.
Following this dryer use and care advice helps keep your dryer in top shape so it lasts longer.