October 15, 2007 06:15 ET Issues Tips to Helps Consumers Ensure Their Clothes Dryers Are Ready and Safe

Fall Is a Good Time to Clean the Dryer Exhaust Duct and Prevent Fires

CANTON, MI--(Marketwire - October 15, 2007) - While many consumers routinely remove lint from their dryer's lint filter between loads, lint can still build up inside the ducting that vents the hot air to the outside. Chris Hall, president of®, sees this as a potential hazard and recommends a thorough clean-out of clothes dryers at least one a year -- ideally during the fall.

"Lint build-up reduces the efficiency of dryers, and lint can catch fire if it accumulates inside the dryer," says Hall, whose company,, provides consumers with free repair advice as well as the parts they need to fix their appliances. "The good news is that dryers are pretty simple appliances, and most consumers can easily handle routine maintenance to keep the dryer safe -- and keep their utility bills in check."

Dryers need good airflow to remove moisture from clothes. When lint accumulates in the exhaust duct or the dryer's internal ducts, the dryer cannot dry clothes efficiently. A dryer that runs twice as long uses twice as much energy, is harder on clothes, and makes the unpleasant task of doing laundry take that much longer.'s handy tips for keeping dryer lint under control

--  Clean the lint filter after each load. If you use fabric softener
    sheets, these can lead to a build-up of gummy residue on the filter and
    sensors inside the drum. Wipe the sensors with a damp cloth and use a soft
    bristle brush and hot, soapy water to clean the filter. If the filter is
    torn or won't clean up, it's best to replace it.
--  Clean out lint from the area around the lint filter. If you can, use a
    crevice tool on a vacuum cleaner to reach into the dryer.
--  Clean the dryer exhaust duct at least once a year. Do this more often
    if you dry more than six loads of laundry each week, if your dryer's duct
    is longer than eight feet, or if the duct has more than three 90-degree

How to properly clean the dryer exhaust duct

--  Use a specially designed and inexpensive vent brush to clean the duct.
    It's available in 10- and 20-foot lengths, starting at around $20.
    See here:
--  Begin at the dryer and feed the vent brush all the way to the outside.
    At the other end, it's best to remove the exterior cap so the lint can be
    pushed out.
--  Tip: straight-walled venting allows better air flow than flexible
    venting, so for longer runs, straight-walled venting is recommended.

Many more tips and expert repair advice available online

Cleaning tips, maintenance instructions, parts and cleaning supplies for these projects and more can all be found at Consumers can ask the RepairGuru, RepairClinic's online help wizard, for assistance with most every major appliance repair question.

About® was founded in 1999 with the idea that armed with the right advice, tools and parts, savvy consumers can extend the life of their appliances, save money, and conserve the environment. Consumers can visit for free appliance-repair help, or call a customer service representative at 1(800) 269-2609 for help locating specific parts.

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