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How much time should a dryer take to dry your clothes?

Drying a load of clothes should take about an hour. If it’s taking longer, there might be a problem.

Assuming your washer and dryer are matched, you’re not overloading the washer, the washer is spinning out the clothes as well as it ever did, AND you cleaned the lint screen before starting the cycle, an average load of clothes should take 45 to 75 minutes to dry. It will depend upon the type of fabric, the size of the load, the length of the vent pipe, the style of the vent pipe, the design of the dryer and the heat cycle selected.

If your dryer is consistently taking too long to dry, it probably needs service. It might not even be broken; it might just need a good cleaning. Cleaning is required maintenance every one to four years. When cleaning, it’s important to remove the plastic or metal box the lint screen goes into and fully clean the inside. The vent pipe can be cleaned or replaced. Dryer vent cleaning kits can be purchased at most home improvement stores.

If replacing your vent pipe, use rigid (galvanized) or semi-rigid (flexible aluminum) only. The thin foil tubing is not up to approved building codes. It also has ridges that slow the air and catch lint, and it’s often not cut to length, so the air must travel much further to reach the outside, which slows the air even more. This type of tubing can become pinched or kinked in tight spaces, again slowing the air. (Are you noticing a pattern?) Finally, the thin foil offers no resistance to fire, in the unlikely event your dryer catches fire.

But your dryer won’t have a fire because you ensured your vent pipe is short, straight and clean.

If the vent pipe, lint screen and dryer internals are reasonably clear, and it’s still taking too long to dry a load of clothes, it’s time to call a professional. All City Appliance charges less than $100 for a checkup and vent pipe cleaning in most cases, and it’s money well spent!

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