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How a Dryer Works

  1. Rotating Tumbler – the large drum like opening that holds the clothes and rotates, “tumbling” the clothes.

  2. Heater – powered by either electric or gas, this heats the air that is drawn through the clothes as they tumble, which heats up the clothing and the water within the clothing.

  3. Exhaust Vent – the hose that passes the water out of the dryer and out of the house, exiting as steam.

How It Works Air enters the dryer through openings in the outside of the machine. This air is sucked in through a large hole in the front of the dryer, past the heating element and into the tumbler.  The air is then directed down through the lint screen, passing through a duct in the front of the machine, into the fan, and is then forced into the duct leading out the back of the dryer and exiting the house through the vent. Dryers pull in air to heat up and help dry the clothes.  The temperature of the air outside of the dryer may affect the temperature in the dryer and the time it takes to dry items within.  Additionally, the larger the load the longer the drying time.

Dryer Settings A typical laundry load will take around 30 to 45 minutes to dry, depending on what items you are drying.  Determining the setting to dry items on is also a factor.  A good standard to follow is if items are washed in hot water use the higher temperature setting on the dryer. Permanent Press:  Items washed in cooler water should be dried on the permanent-press setting, which includes a cool-down cycle at the end to prevent wrinkles.  A typical permanent-press load including pants, shirts, shorts – weighing around 5 pounds will take about 30 to 40 minutes to dry. Delicate:  Delicate items that do not requiring being hung dry should go on the delicate setting on the dryer. Synthetics:  Items made of Lycra, nylon, polyester, spandex, etc.  should be hung dry or machine dried at a low temperature.

It’s a Balance Ensuring items are sorted properly, the load size is not too big or too small and selecting the correct setting will help dry clothes efficiently. We have 45-pound dryers available at our locations (30 pounds at Shorewood) to accommodate larger items and larger loads.  Find a location near you to see availability.

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