Drying clothes
Sunday October 22nd 2006, 12:37 pm

Last week our 12 year-old electric dryer went kaput. It actually started about a month ago by making loud noises whenever it was used, which I ignored. I guess I thought it would fix itself. The noise kept getting louder until last Thursday when it started to smoke and sounded like a jet engine taking off. I knew we had trouble then. We quickly removed the clothes, unplugged it and opened the laundry room windows to air out the smoke smell. We were lucky it didn’t catch fire.

The next day we went to Sears and bought the top of the line Kenmore Elite Sensor Smart electric dryer with a king size load capacity because it was on sale. My husband installed it and I couldn’t believe the difference in drying times between the old and new dryers. Yesterday morning I started another load of laundry and put it in the new dryer, but the new dryer, which was only one week old and had only been used three times, wouldn’t work. We checked the fuses and changed them to the recommended time-delay fuses, but it still wouldn’t work. We contacted the Sears Service Department and was told that they would charge $67.50 for a serviceman to check it out if there was nothing wrong with the dryer and the problem was electrical. We checked the internet, which we probably should have done before we bought this dryer. There were several stories of problems with appliances, such as microwaves and dryers, which have sensors. They are so sensitive that if you burn popcorn in a microwave with a sensor, it stops working and won’t work for a few hours. These dryers are sensitive to lint in the vent or just don’t work for some unexplained reason. I think that Sears was putting the touch panel dryers with sensors on sale due to problems. I hope this isn’t the beginning of problems for us. In the meantime I had wet clothes waiting to be dried, so I hung them on the clothes line, even though the weather forecast wasn’t great. Before calling an electrician, my husband removed the vent from the dryer to check it for lint, but there was none there. He put the vent back on the dryer and lo and behold, the dryer started working.

We take things like clothes dryers for granted. It is inconvenient when we have to dry clothes the way our parents did using a clothes line. I remember my mother bringing in frozen sheets and towels from the line during the winter which were as hard as a board. Smaller items were dried on a line in the basement during the winter. The clothes smelled so fresh when she brought them into the house from being outdoors. We use dryer sheets now to give clothes a fresh outdoor smell. The only time I use my clothes line now is to dry large blankets and only on sunny days. We have a clothes line in our yard because it is an older neighbourhood. Subdivisions and developments built in the past 20 years don’t allow clothes lines because they supposedly detract from the look of the neighbourhood. I wouldn’t want to have to use it every time I do my laundry, but it is nice to have the option.

We will have to be more energy efficient in the future due to global warming and the oil shortage. One thing to think about is that electric dryers use a lot of power to dry our clothes but drying clothes on a line is free.

Have a nice day, Anne