Laundry Room Danger

I recently shared ideas on transforming your laundry room from something utilitarian, to something fun and functional. Today I would like to cover two simple items that, if left unchecked, can become a danger to your home. They both originate in the laundry room.

There are hoses on the back of your washing machine that supply the water to wash your clothes. Once you move those clothes into your dryer, hot moist air is vented from the back of the dryer to the outside of your home. If either of these inbound or outbound conduits fail, there can be serious implications for your home.

Basic washing machine supply lines are rubber. For a bit more, you can upgrade these to nylon or steel braided lines which wrap the rubber and help prevent blowouts. None of these hose configurations will last forever. Most homeowners, however, only think about those supply lines when replacing their machine.

When your washing machine is not running the supply lines between the wall and machine are still under pressure. With age and use those hoses will get brittle and one day they may fail. If you hold them with two hands and bend them back and forth a bit, if you see any cracking at all it is time to replace them. When in doubt, or if you do not remember how old they are, replace them.

The dryer vent takes all the hot moist air from clothes being spun and vents it outside the home. The longer the vent tube, and the more turns it has, the more likely it is to clog over time. The use of dryer sheets also adds a gummy residue to the exhaust and hastens buildup. Over time the airflow through the vent becomes totally constricted.

A few things happen with a clogged dryer vent. First, you will have to run the dryer longer to get clothes dry. This adds to your energy bill. Next, more of that warm moist air is venting into your home, increasing the chances of mildew, and causing your air conditioner to run longer and harder to cool and dehumidify your home. This also increases your energy costs. The biggest issue here, however, is the potential for fire. As your dryer works longer and harder to dry your clothes, your fire risk increases. If you are having to run loads longer, or twice, it is time to clean your dryer vent.

Now is the time to check your supply lines and consider any delays when using your dryer that may indicate a constricted dryer vent. If you suspect issues, you now know how to resolve them.

If replacing hoses and cleaning your dryer vent is a chore you would prefer somebody else to do, know that these are two of the many services that Mr. Handyman can perform around your home. You can print a copy of our Home Services Checklist, circle whatever you need, and have Mr. Handyman out to manage your to-do list.