What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blocked Dryer Vent

blocked dryer vent
Blocked Dryer Vent
July 3, 2010

Well before Hydro One announced they were moving to a Time of Use (TOU) pricing for electricity rates my preferred time to do laundry was in the evening or on the weekends.  This just worked into our schedules nicely and especially when the kids were younger ensured all the dirty clothes from the day ended up in the wash when I was doing it.  Even with my high energy efficient washer and dryer I still prefer to do laundry in the evening.  It's convenient because I can fold clothes curing commercials.  To go along with our HE washer and dryer we installed a Braun Eco-Vent in November of 2008.  Up until this point we have had no problems with the vent.

A few nights ago I ran a load of laundry as normal but noticed that the clothes failed to dry in the required amount of time.  Upon further investigation I discovered the outside portion of the vent was clogged.  This is the first time the vent has clogged on us.  I'm very careful to make sure that the dryer lint trap is cleaned after every use so this has become quite the mystery.  The only thing I can think of is we had quite a wet spring and recently experienced a week long heat wave with high humidity levels.  Combined with hot, wet air coming from the vent itself this resulted in a prolonged wet surface for lint to become clogged.  It's the only thing I can think of that would have caused a problem given that after 19 months the vent suddenly became clogged yet we had experienced no problems prior to that.

Despite being after 11 PM and needing a flashlight I quickly unclogged the vent which given the design is not quite as easy as it sounds.  I ended up using a serrated steak knife to pull the lint from the vent cover as the grate does not come off.  One tug was all it took to feel hot air blowing from the vent and that only cleared one opening.  I continued clearing all of the openings and checked the ball valve to be sure it was operating properly.  Once this was done the clothes were dried within minutes.  Now I know this is a potential problem since a blocked vent especially for a gas dryer can cause carbon monoxide to get into the house as well as creating a fire hazard, I will be checking the vent on a more regular basis.  To be on the safe side my husband removed the hose to be sure there was no lint build-up.  Thankfully the problem seems to have been vent related only but it certainly is something to keep an eye on. 

Garden Gnome