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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Clothes Dryers

At M G Appliance Services we want to be the appliance service company that people throughout Ottawa count on for prompt repairs to all their household appliances including your clothes dryer. We’ve also assembled a list of frequently asked questions about clothes dryers, including information about electrical consumption, vents and lint. Please contact us if your clothes dryer needs professional service.


Anti-static sheets

Anti-static sheets can be used more than once. Some people reuse them multiple times. Others simply cut the sheets into sections and only use one section per load.

The sheets themselves don’t stop static, rather it’s the chemicals within the sheets. They coat the clothes dryer’s interior surface with a film that helps stop the static buildup. Static buildup is caused by the friction action between the drum and the clothes.

Be wary of over using anti-static sheets. Too many anti-static sheets in the clothes dryer at one time can block the filter. This will result in the air flow being restricted and give a poor drying.

Clothing not dry at end of cycle

There are many things that can cause this problem. Check the following before telephoning for service:
1. Lint filter blocked
2. Lint filter missing
3. Door not staying closed
4. Incorrect setting of drying time
5. Incorrect setting of auto drying
6. Timer knob loose
7. Timer not advancing

Clothing too hot at end of cycle

There are many things that can cause this problem. Check the following before telephoning for service:
1. Lint filter blocked
2. Lint filter missing
3. Venting broken
4. Venting kinked
5. Drum not turning
6. Temperature incorrectly set for type of material

Clothing wrinkled at end of cycle

Check clothing label to determine if wrinkled article should be machine dried. Load may be too large for size of drum which could restrict the air flow, causing overheating and resulting in delicate clothing being wrinkled.

Clothes Dryer eating socks

Clothes dryers do not eat socks – people lose them. If a piece of clothing is lost check behind, under, or beside the clothes dryer before blaming machine.

The only way clothing can enter the machine mechanism is when the filter is broken or missing, or when the drum seals are damaged. If this happens, clothes dryer will need to be serviced.

Drying time

If you use a top loading washing machine the average time to dry a load of clothes using the timed-dry cycle is 45 – 55 minutes. If using the auto-dry cycle the time will dependent upon the size and type of load being dried, but on average will be less than the timed-dry cycle.

If you use a front loading washing machine the average time to dry a load of clothes may drop to as low as 20 – 25 minutes.

Electrical consumption

To lower electrical consumption consider drying clothes outdoors during warm weather. When dry, bring back inside and tumble in clothes dryer on the no-heat setting. This will fluff them and works especially well for bath towels.

Try experimenting with the machine to find the best setting for your typical loads. Don’t use same setting of heat or time for all loads.

Use automatic cycle. It uses less electricity because it regulates drying time to match load size and type.

Electrical consumption – heat recycler

To fully use your electrical consumption consider investing in a heat recycler for your electric clothes dryer (about $15) it will bring the heat back into the house during the winter and warm the basement for free.

Your dryer element (5000 watts) is equivalent to two baseboard heaters, so why not use that free heat. The heat recycler is easily installed by cutting into the venting and adding with the clamps provided in most kits.

A heat recycler is only compatible with electric clothes dryers and is not compatible with gas clothes dryers.

Filter – Can I safely operate my clothes dryer without one?

No. Running your clothes dryer without a filter can cause tearing of clothes. Replace a filter immediately if it has a hole. Any clothing that gets past the filter can cause expensive damage. A temporary solution is an old nylon stocking. Wrap around the broken filter so the nylon stocking does the filtering. Replace filter before the next usage.

Lint on clothes

Clean lint filter after every one or two loads. If not cleaned, lint can re-deposit onto the clothes. Lint can also build up on parts such as the door and door gasket which will be picked up by later loads.

Stains on clothes

Check inside the drum for dark marks. Debris such as gum or crayons may have fallen out of pockets, and become baked onto the drum. If found, try to remove using a dull edged knife. Avoid scratching the drum as rusting can result.

Timer setting – auto dry or timed dry?

To lower electrical consumption try switching from timed dry to the auto dry cycle. The auto dry cycle is more efficient. Auto dry will compensate for the size of load and shorten or lengthen the cycle accordingly.

Auto-dry cycles have a maximum and minimum setting. This indicates the type of material being dried, not the size of load. A maximum material might be cotton towels, while a minimum material might be permanent press or a lighter material.

Timer setting – minimum or maximum

Experiment with the minimum/maximum setting. The closer to minimum you can set this cycle and still have your average clothing load come out dry, the less electricity you will consume.

Venting – length can cause problems

Length of venting can affect the clothes dryer operation. Most manufacturers (check your owner’s manual) consider 14 feet and 2 elbows to be a maximum. Modern house design can exceed this limit and result in lint buildup within the vent pipes. Venting should also be removed and cleaned yearly to help the clothes dryer to perform efficiently.

Venting – do I need to clean?

To lower electrical consumption clean your clothes dryer venting every year. A buildup of lint in the venting can cause the air flow to slow, and force the clothes dryer to work longer to compensate.

Venting – metal or plastic

Metal venting is now required by most manufacturers to maintain your warranty. Using plastic venting may void your warranty. The plastic can block with lint and affect clothes dryer operation and safety. Straight section metal venting is still the best, but corrugated metal venting is acceptable to most manufacturers.

Venting – Can I vent the clothes dryer indoors?

There are after-market devices available that allow this. They usually contain water that captures the lint. Their disadvantage is that a water reservoir must be topped up every few loads. Also, the moisture that is normally discharged to the outdoors will enter the house. This can result in excessive moisture buildup in the laundry room area, resulting in sweating of the windows and walls.

There are now available clothes dryers that absorb the moisture from the clothes. Their disadvantage is that they are expensive and complex. Also their drying times can be very long. Some clothes dryers will require up to two hours to dry a small load.

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(613) 733-4380


2413 Junction Ave, Ottawa, ON K1V 8G8


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