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Dryer Vent System Cleaning

The Science Behind Drying Your Clothes

Washing machines are excellent at cleaning away all the grime, dirt, and sweat our garments pick up every day, but they do have a drawback. What is it? They return the clean clothes to you soaking wet. That means you have to rid your clothing of a huge amount of water before you can wear them again, which is where your dryer comes in! If you understand a bit of the science behind how drying clothes works, you’ll find that laundry can be done faster and more economically. Which begs the question of what exactly is involved in the process of turning wet clothes into dry ones? Basically, it all boils down to evaporation, or turning all that water in your clothing into a vapor that can be removed.

Optimal drying conditions involve air movement, heat, and low humidity. Dryers combine all these things to dry clothes quickly, by tumbling them inside a large, rotating metal drum. The basic idea is hot dry air is blown into one side of this drum as it rotates, while at the same time, wet steam is extracted from another part of the drum. Here’s the step-by-step process.

  1. Your dryer holds a large metal drum with paddles along the inside rim. This drum rotates one way for about 30 seconds, stops, then rotates the other way to stop clothes from bunching (at least this is how it works in residential dryers like your own).
  2. Cold air gets drawn into the machine via an air intake. This is usually at the front of the dryer to stop it from getting dusty and dirty.
  3. Then, a fan powered by an electric motor sucks air in and pulls it toward a heating element.
  4. As cool air goes over the heating element, it’s warmed and transformed to hot, dry air. There’s a thermostat that turns this heating element on and off periodically to prevent clothing from cooking or the machine from overheating. How often it does this is chosen when you pick the high or low temperature setting on the dryer; when you do this, you’re setting the thermostat!
  5. The warm air from the heating element enters the drum.
  6. The drum is rotated by a rubber belt (or a belt made from similar material) that is connected to the electric motor. This is often the same motor that powers the fan.
  7. While the drum is rotating, the paddles along the rim lift and tumble the wet clothes until they reach the top of the drum, at which point gravity makes them fall to the bottom again. As they fall, they pass through the hot, dry air. Dryers work most efficiently when they tumble the wash through the hot air in this way. This is why overloading the dryer isn’t a good idea; clothes just get bunched up and roll into a ball and take longer to dry.
  8. All that hot air then goes through the lint filter where the lint is trapped. (Some dryers also have a second exhaust fan that works to help extract moist air).
  9. After that, air passes through a vent hose—at least in most cases. Some dryers or combo washer-dryers have a heat exchanger and condenser where humid air is passed to, the water is cooled and drained, and the heat is captured and reused.

That’s a whole lot of stuff happening in your dryer each and every time you use it! That's why you need to give us a call when it's time to clean your dryer vent, so your dryer will continue to run smoothly as described above!

We’re the experts for professional Delaware dryer vent cleaning and repair! Give us a call so Dryer Vent Wizard of Delaware can help you save energy, time, and money. Some of the towns we service include: Centerville, DE, Newark, DE, Wilmington, DE, New Castle, DE, Odessa, DE, Bear, DE, and many others!

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