december_christmas_calendarI’d say it’s safe to say that you hadn’t really thought about the fact that an improperly working dryer exhaust system increases your power bill. I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of statistics, but I am going to toss out several numbers that will probably be of interest to you. First, let’s talk about the structure of your dryer ventilation system.

The entire system isn’t usually that big. It consists of the hose leading from your dryer to the exterior vent, the vent itself, and the vent cover. The full system includes:

  • Lint Trap

The lint trap plays a significant role, but it is more likely to be cleaned after each load of laundry because it is visible. I say it plays a significant role because it actually catches about 60% of the lint that is produced by each load of laundry. The cleaner you keep it, the better it works.

  • Dryer Exhaust

The dryer exhaust is located at the back of the dryer, and is usually a four-inch hole onto which the transition hose is attached.

  • Transition Hose

The transition hose is the four-inch silver hose that carries moist, heated lint and air into the vent elbow to be carried into the hose.

  • Hose

The hose is the shiny metal, collapsible hose that carries all of the lint and hot air to the vent leading to the exterior of your home. The hose may run through a wall or up a wall through the ceiling to a vent on the roof.

  • Vent

The vent is seen from the exterior of your home either as a small four-inch vent on the side of the house or through a roof-top exhaust.

Every section of the dryer vent system is just as important as the one before it. Each of those individual sections must perform its intended function or the entire system fails. Moisture and lint stick to the inside of each surface, and over time can create serious problems – including higher power bills. Which brings me back to the original purpose of this blog post.

How much money is your dryer vent system costing you each month? Let’s take a look. Each time the dryer goes through a 60 minute cycle, it adds about $0.75 to your electric bill. How many times do you have to reset the timer to get your clothes dry? Two cycles per load would be roughly $1.50. Multiply that by an average of four loads per week, and you’re looking at $6 per week just to dry the laundry. A properly functioning dryer exhaust system costs about half that because it only takes one cycle per load of laundry instead of two.

Using those estimates, how much is your dryer costing each month? Have the dryer exhaust system inspected and cleaned, and see how much money you save. You’ll probably notice several things improve before you see any real savings. You’ll first notice that your laundry doesn’t have the usual odd smell of being left in the dryer too long. You won’t have to rewash laundry that you didn’t catch in time, and you’ll be happier knowing that when you set the timer for 45 – 60 minutes, your laundry will be finished the first time.