Washer and Dryer Maintenance Tips for New Homeowners

If you are a new homeowner, then you are adjusting to a lot of responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. One of these is the responsibility for your washer and dryer. While these appliances do not need a lot of maintenance, there are some things that you need to be aware of and look at regularly. Keeping good care of your washer and dryer can not only save you money in energy costs, but it can also protect against house fires. 


The first thing you need to worry about is whether the washer and dryer are installed correctly. If you don’t have experience in this area, the best route to go is to have a professional install them both. A professional will be able to tell you if the outlets are compatible with the plugs on your machines. If your dryer is gas-powered, then you will also need to make sure the gas line and connection are working correctly, so you don’t have a gas leak in your home. 

Dryer Lint Trap

The leading cause of house fires in the laundry room is a failure to clean the lint trap. The lint trap should be cleaned after each load of laundry you dry. If you are drying an item that produces a lot of lint, like a towel or blanket being dried for the first time, then you may even want to clean the lint trap halfway through the cycle. If the lint trap is not cleaned, then lint is forced down into the drum of the dryer, and if buildup accumulates on the wires, it can start a fire. Once a year, you should also open up the drum to check to make sure it is clear of lint. 

Dryer Vent

Another way you can prevent house fires is to check the dryer vent that runs from your dryer to the outside of your home. While the dryer is running, go outside and make sure air is coming out of the vent. If there is no air coming out, then turn off the dryer to inspect the vent. Vents can become blocked from lint, a bird’s nest, or a small animal. 

Exhaust Duct

If you inspect the outside of the vent and there is not a blockage, but there is still no air coming out of the vent, then you will want to check the exhaust duct on the back of your dryer. You can disconnect this from your dryer to see if lint or other debris is blocking the path of the air. If it is still not working, then you may need parts to fix your washer or dryer or consult a professional to get help. 

Safety Tips

There are a few other safety tips that you should keep in mind when using your washer and dryer. You shouldn’t overload either appliance to make sure they work correctly, and there is not a malfunction. You should also not keep items on top of either machine or store things around them. You should always read your owner’s manual if you run across a problem.

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