burnt lint dryer

Dryer Burning Smell

Does your gas or electric dryer have a burning smell when it heats up?  It can be pretty common and is usually caused by excess lint build up inside your dryer.  The excess lint can cause a fire in your dryer if not cleaned out.  Clothes dryer fires cause more than 15,000 house fires each year.  Here’s a picture of a dryer that I cleaned out today.

The owner of this dryer complained that the dryer was smelling like smoke, almost as if someone set up a camp fire in their dryer.  This home’s dryer venting goes straight up and out the roof.  The lint had no where to escape so it accumulated in the dryer eventually catching on fire.  Good thing they turned off the dryer or it could have burned down their house.

Common areas of lint build up

Now that you know the dangers of lint build up in your dryer, here are a few areas to check and clean in your dryer.  (Experts say you should clean your dryer inside and out at least every two years.)  To remove the lint, you will need to open up the cabinet and carefully vacuum or wipe away the lint.  Be careful not break the coils on the heating element (electric dryers) or the igniter (gas dryers).

Electric dryers can sometimes have lint build up on or around the heating element.  I once picked up an electric dryer that the owner complained of a burning smell.  All I had to do is clean off a little burnt lint on the heating element.  I tested and then sold the dryer for 10 times what I paid for it.

Gas dryers can get lint build up in several places.  Whirlpool brands with the removable back panel get lint build up under the back panel, in the chute, and inside the cabinet area.  The cabinet area is probably the most dangerous due to the open flame.

I will be adding more pictures and videos to this post in the future.  I just got motivated to finally write this post after seeing the dryer in the picture above.  Be safe.  Clean your dryer

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