Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Preventive maintenance

Image: http://servicemastervancouver.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/2-of-cleaning-dryer-vents.jpg

When I moved here in Aug, 2012, I bought a one year old washer and dryer that the former tenant had installed here. A single man, just how much use would it have seen? Paid $200/pair, it was already on site, it was a win-win situation for both me and the former tenant's daughter, who was handling his Estate.

One of the things I specifically had my handyman service do today, was to clean out the dryer vent. Even though I had asked the landlord's handyman to do so, in a list of items to be addressed prior to my move in, I doubted that it was done, and wanted to be sure that the dryer vent was cleared out.

What little dryer use I have had, I noted that the dryer seems to take long to dry, compared to my former HE set, which I really enjoyed as the washer practically spun the clothes completely dry, the dryer had a moisture sensor-it was a great, greener laundry pair.

I was surprised to see the gunk that the handyman pulled out of the dryer vent, which was NOT cleaned out in Aug, as I suspected. About a full, plastic grocery bag full of blackish dust, like seen in the image above.

My concern was to know that this was properly handled and to avoid a dryer fire, as well as to hopefully improve the drying capacity of the dryer for times that i do use it. A community member recently had a dryer fire, another reason to add vent clean out to my list of chores for the handyman. While his services are far from cheap, I am all about preventive maintenance, making this place more comfortable for us.

Besides the vent clean out, a new programmable thermostat was installed (noted that it immediately read 70 degrees!, but has been now set to only come on when it dips to 60), a 4 slot metal holder for baggies and wraps was installed in a close (decluttering the mess that a cabinet had become and I found some things in the process!), assorted curtain hardware was installed (still treating a shoulder injury thru PT as well as nursing a finger laceration-never mind my bad thumbs!), 6 ml plastic was put over the large kitchen window's exterior, a piece of scrap wood was used to fill the missing center  board of a 3 board "handyman special" ugly yet serviceable shelf for detergent in the laundry room, a rug was removed from the same (dumb idea whomever thought of that, this one was under the washer, the other one was simply on the floor and held moisture-gross, I tossed it immediately after moving in), the dryer legs and washer legs were adjusted so that they no longer rock, more spray foam fill stuff was used to better seal up the small laundry window that holds the vent to the outside (and had a large narrow sliver of glass missing. Please, let's not invite mice, bees etc inside), a power strip was attatched to a wall, getting it off of the counter (we all charge our cells on this at night), a 3 hook robe shelf was installed in the bathroom, missing screws were replaced on a kitchen cabinet latch that kept popping out the one remaining screw, 2 dining chairs were reglued and tied with string to allow it to set for a few days, a powder room door knob was looked at and adjusted (4 people have gotten stuck in that room recently)

So good money was spent, but overall, I am very happy with getting these small jobs attended to, our home is more comfortable/runs better as a result. It was worth it.


slugmama said...

Egads on the dryer lint!
I'm putting that one on my list for this weekend.

Belinda said...

Wow, you got a lot of stuff done! I love getting a laundry list of stuff like that done. I just know it makes you feel good to have that accomplished! Great tip on the dryer vent clean out. Good thing you had him recheck it.

CTMOM said...

Sluggy, I was pretty surprised at what came out of a 1 y.o. dryer vent tube. Ick.
Now I know that it's safe to use and cleaned out. I don't use the dryer much so in a year, it'll be interesting to see how much lint/ick I end up making.

CTMOM said...


Yes, I certainly feel safer knowing that this vent is cleaned. Pretty gross. It'll be interesting to see how much we generate, lint wise, in a rarely used dryer, in one year's time, when I have it cleaned out again.