Dryers are such an essential part of the household, and their seemingly-simple nature may make you think that they will continue to run smoothly forever.

However, there are in fact many things that can potentially go wrong in the complex systems within the machine. This behooves you to understand what causes these problems and how to remedy them so you can continue your laundry work.

An especially common problem that might pop up in your dryer is the issue of air flow through the dryer’s systems – or to be more precise, a lack thereof. The circulation of air throughout the varying components of the dryer is the lifeblood of their processes, and a stopped-flow can hinder and endanger the dryer in a multitude of ways.

How the Venting System Works

venting system

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The exact set-up of your dryer’s airflow will vary considerably between different brands and models. Though overall, they follow similar patterns in how the ventilation systems function.

As explained here on Inman, the fan pulls air from the front of the dryer inside into the heating element. Once heated up accordingly, the air moves on to the drum, and the rotating motion of the drum then circulates the warm air.

After the warm air has dried the clothes and absorbed their moisture, it is ejected out the back of the dryer – though not before passing through a lint screen, of course. This whole process is the very point of the dryer, and it is through the correct flow of air that the laundry gets done.

Therefore, it is easy to see how important maintaining the right flow of air is to your dryer.

Causes of Air Flow Issues

air flow issues

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A few different things can disrupt the standard circulation of air through your dryer’s systems, and it’s a good idea to know how these problems emerge.

A key problem that Inman notes is the accumulation of moist lint in the ventilation tracts in spite of the lint trap. This is something you really can’t avoid since the whole nature of the system requires the air to pick up the moisture from the clothes being dried.

It is also possible that something else besides lint is jamming up the vents and thereby stopping the flow of air through the dryer.

For instance, SF Gate points out that certain materials are less effective in channeling the air and that too many bends in the ventilation system slow down the overall airflow through the dryer.

Problems with Restricted Airflow

restricted airflow

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If the airflow stalls, your dryer can run into a number of key problems.

First and most obviously, a lack of air circulation means that your dryer won’t be able to effectively dry the clothes. This is because the whole flow of air is what empowers the drying process, to begin with. It also means that the moisture from clothes won’t move out of the dryer, leaving the clothes still wet while also creating unpleasant mold.

More than that, though, airflow problems can be dangerous, especially when it comes to lint.

If lint is getting stuck in the vents and thereby stopping the air travel, the dryness of the material can eventually break out and cause a fire. This does not only damage the machine but also endanger you and your home.

Restricted airflow is a serious problem in dryers and needs to be fixed before it gets out of hand.

Fixing the Ventilation System

ventilation systems

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There are several approaches you can take to address airflow problems.

First, you can try cleaning the system.

A lot of the trouble comes from moisture and lint getting stuck, so if you can access the vents and clean them out, you can keep them from blocking the air flow.

Today’s Homeowner advises using a special lint brush that you can extend into the pipes from outside, or you can try a vacuum.

On the other hand, as noted here on SF Gate, sometimes the problem is with the vents themselves – they wind around too much, are made of poor materials, etc. In that case, you might be better off replacing the components to the vent so you have pieces that can better ensure the right flow of air through the systems of your dryer.

Try to research what kinds of vents are most effective.

Keeping Your Dryer Healthy and Effective

dryer health and effectivenes

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A dryer should stay in good condition so it can both serve its laundry purpose efficiently and ensure that it remains safe to use.

The flow of air is just one of the many factors that govern how the dryer functions.

Take the time to learn about all of the interconnected systems and processes within your dryer as well as how to repair them.

Dryernotheating.net specializes in dryer repairs, and we have all the how-to’s, repair hacks, and tips needed to help fix your dryer.