Most people want to know, Can I leave the dryer running when I am not home? Life has become so busy, that multitasking has become a normal part of life since we pack so much into our schedules. And among the many things we can admit to multitasking is leaving clothes in the dryer while we catch up with other things. After all, the dryer can get the job done while you finish up on that assignment or run to the store to grab a few things; a win-win situation for you, right?


Well, no matter how convenient leaving the dryer running and doing other things may sound, it is actually not safe. In this article, we discuss why you should never leave your dryer running when you are not at home, as well as practical steps you can take to ensure that your appliance remains durable for as long as possible. Let’s get started!


Can I Leave the Dryer Running When I am Not Home?

No, you should never leave your dryer running when you are not at home. The same rule still applies for when you are sleeping while the dryer runs. Leaving the dryer running increases the risk of fire accidents at home. In fact, according to research, over 15,000 fire break outs from dryers are reported every year, with most of these fires resulting from negligence and careless use of these appliances.

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Therefore, to prevent these accidents, it is always recommended that you run your dryer only when you are at home. After all, it is only when you are at home that you can monitor the appliance as it works, ensuring that there are no leakages or fire accidents. And even if yours is a new, modern dryer, you should not trust it 100% that it will not cause fires. This is because unexpected faults happen, such as overheating of the outlets, restricted flow of air in the vent and wiring problems, just to mention a few.


How to Prevent Your Dryer from Catching Fire

One way you can prevent dryer fire accidents is by running the appliance only when you are home. Consider these four additional tips that can help you prevent your dryer from catching fire:

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1. Keep the Laundry Area Clean

Keeping the laundry area clean can help to minimize the risk of dryer fires. Even a small ball of lint under the dryer can lead to fire accidents in the laundry room. Therefore, you should regularly check the area around the dryer and under the appliance for any spare debris. Sweep any dust that has accumulated under the dryer.

Also, you should keep the dryer a few inches from the wall. Doing so not only prevents the buildup of excess heat behind the washer and dryer, but it also provides enough space for the ductwork to sit safely.


2. Replace Ductwork

All dryers should be connected to a vent through ductwork. However, not all materials or designs are ideal for your dryer. For example, while plastic ductwork is the most common choice for the majority, it does not meet all the recommended standards.

The most recommended ductwork material is metal. However, when connection the dryer through the metal ductwork, avoid using the accordion style since the low points in this design can lead to accumulation of lint. The best design to use would be a rigid style with a smooth interior, with the joints running in the direction of the airflow and the duct in a straight position.

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3. Clean Lint Traps

A study conducted by the National Center for Healthy Housing showed excess lint to be the leading cause of dryer fires. Lint is a highly flammable material that accumulates naturally in the dryer. While most of the lint is usually collected in the lint trap, it may build up and exceed, reaching the hotter parts of the dryer. When this happens, it may lead to dryer fires.

Therefore, it is advisable that you clean the lint traps regularly to prevent the risk of fires. You can clean the traps either after or before every load. And when drying large loads, try cleaning the lint trap mid-cycle.


4. Clean Dryer Ducts

Once in a while, clean the dryer ducts thoroughly as part of your dryer maintenance activity. The duct is usually located in the back of the dryer. To clean the ducts, start by unplugging the dryer to disconnect it. Then, remove any clamps to allow you to pull the vent pipe from the exhaust. After removing the pipe from the duct, remove the cover. Using a vent brush, loosen any lint and use a vacuum to suck it out, leaving the entire duct thoroughly clean. Then, put back all the components and connect your dryer back to its socket.



Unless you want to increase the risk of dryer fire, you should never think Can I Leave The Dryer Running When I Am Not Home?! Rather, you should always run the machine only when you are at home, since you will have a higher chance of noticing problem and preventing them before they occur.

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