Thursday, August 2, 2012

Exercises in futility

The experts say you're supposed to clean out your dryer vent every 6-12 months to prevent dryer fires caused by lint build up. I haven't cleaned mine since I had to buy a new dryer two years ago. I recently laundered our down comforter (I just learned that you can do that) and I was worried that feathers in the dryer vent would make everything more flammable.

Side note: I took the comforter to a laundromat so I could use their large-capacity washers (only our dryer at home is large capacity). Not only was everyone there INSANE (and so chatty!) but the owner took it upon himself to manhandle my clean, wet comforter.

"You should dry this on low heat." Squeeze squeeze squeeze. Why would he touch, let alone squeeze my clean laundry?

Anyway. I decided to just buy a new vent rather than wrestling with vacuuming out the old one. As I was trying to get the plastic parts that connect to your window and your dryer attached to the metal tube it all came flooding back to me: getting those aluminum tubes attached is a bitch.

You have to expand the tube but if you pull too hard it will unravel. And if you keep doing that, like an idiot, it will soon be too short to use and then you'll end up at the hardware store again, purchasing the more expensive kit that comes with the attachment pieces already connected.

So this is the dryer vent that I'm going to love forever. I'll buy one of those stupid vent-cleaning brushes and wrestle with the vacuum but this is the vent.

The best part is that I didn't have all that much lint buildup in the former vent. There was definitely some but not the clogged artery I was expecting. I am glad I did it, so I can quit worrying that I'll be one of the 15,000 dryer vent fires that happen every year.

Does anyone want to come over and worry? I have bourbon and Xanax and we can trade statistics about freak electrical accidents.


  1.'s amazing what trouble good intentions can lead to. I'm an olympic-level fretter. The first winter after I started planting the front slope I would wake up and 3 am and worry that without the lawn to absorb the rain, we'd have a landslide and our house would fall down onto the street. Actually, I still worry about that sometimes!

  2. Ya thanks, guess who won't be sleeping tonight on account of my worrying about the dryer vent lint build up.

  3. Do you want a Xanax? :) If it makes you feel any better, my friend recently did the same thing (after four years) and didn't really have much lint either. I think it helps that we don't have kids, so we don't have laundry going at all times of the day (although Greg and I do a TON of laundry).

  4. No kids...but one very furry dog. I think this is a project for the husband.

  5. I'm with Yogi Berra on this one: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Always someone admonishing us to do things like get the hot water heater re-lined every so many years. Whaaa? In a lifetime of householding,my laissez-faire attitude has only occasionally reared up to bite me...but then I have R to do the worrying.