Clothes dryers are simple appliances that heat air and then blow it into a circulating drum . Dryers usually designed to remove moisture from clothing, usually after washing in a washing machine. Although clothing will dry on its own, there are many benefits to drying clothes in a dryer. Drying clothing in a dryer gives a “softer” feel than drying naturally. It also helps to remove lint that may be produced by the friction of washing.

There are three (3) requirements in order to efficiently dry clothing in a dryer:

  1. Heat
  2. Tumbling
  3. Air Flow

Clothes Dryer Produces Heat:

Every clothes dryer uses heat to speed the drying of clothes. The heating element can be fueled by electricity, natural gas, or propane gas.

In dryers powered solely by electricity, the heating coils are similar to those used in ovens or hot water heaters. An electric current sent through the coil, which designed to create resistance. The resistance builds up electrons and creates energy or heat. The metal coils become very hot from the electron buildup. The heat transferred to the surrounding air and forced throughout the dryer by a blower or fan.

Natural gas or propane gas dryers depend upon a pilot light, which ignites the gas, creating heat. Gas dryers use metal plates designed to transfer the created heat into the air. Again a blower moves the heated air throughout the dryer to the wet laundry. While gas used to create heat, all gas dryers also require electricity to power other components of the dryer.

All dryers use thermostats and thermal fuses to regulate the temperature within the dryer. These parts are key to the safe operation of the appliance, preventing overheating, which can lead to fires. When one of the fail-safe components fails, it is important to look for the root cause of the problem. A blown fuse means the dryer is overheating. A good cleaning to get rid of lint may be all that is needed to prevent a problem down the road.

Three Reasons Your Dryer Is Getting Too Hot - Dr. Duct

How a Clothes Dryer Circulates Air

Air flow may be the most important of the three requirements to dry clothing. As the wet clothing tumbled in a dryer drum, the wet clothing and hot air produce moisture (steam). In order for the clothes to dry, this moisture has to have a passage out. Traditional dryers must be vented in some way to allow the moisture to leave. Venting must be run to the outside of the home. Venting needs to be metal, as opposed to plastic or aluminum foil type venting. Plastic and aluminum foil venting can trap lint, collapse easily, and can pose a fire hazard.

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