Last Updated on March 11, 2016 by Mark Lavington
The devastating affect of poorly maintained tumble dryers has been making headlines across the UK recently, with figures showing they are now one of the largest causes of fires in the home.
To ensure tumble dryer safety, maintenance is essential and as a holiday homeowner you’ll need to ensure that yours is regularly checked and maintained if you provide one within your holiday cottage.
Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your tumble dryer in tiptop condition and safe for you and your guests.
Type of dryer
There are two main types of tumble dryer, vented and condenser. Vented tumble dryers need to be fitted near an external wall so damp air can be removed via a hose, while condenser dryers collect moisture in a water reservoir.
If you’re considering adding a tumble drier to your holiday home, consult with an expert as to which type would be most suited before being tempted by the best deal.
The considerations you may need to make are;
- Vented dryers: Do you have a suitable location within your holiday home? (remember they need to be fitted near an external wall)
- Condenser dryers: Who will be able to, and responsible for, emptying the water container on a regular basis?
Although the dryers operate differently, maintenance of the two systems will invariably be the same.
Failure to regularly maintain your drier will affect its performance and the last thing you want are guests complaining because their clothes haven’t dried!
If clothes aren’t drying properly, it is usually a good indicator there is an issue with the machine and these can often be solved relatively easily.
Below are some basic checks that should be made….
Clean the filters
Tumble dryer blockages are often the chief culprit when it comes to the machines overheating, which in the worse case scenario can trigger fires and significant damage.
No matter how busy your holiday home is, the lint filters should actually be emptied after every use to ensure your machine runs at maximum efficiency. Of course, visiting the holiday home this often will be impractical for you or the letting agent, so make a note to empty it during your weekly changeover routine (and build this into your cleaner’s core tasks and checklist).
If guests stay longer, factor it in during a convenient time, for example when changing the bed linen.
For peace of mind, leave a friendly note asking guests to inform you of any problems with the tumble dryer.
Check for snags
Not only do the tumble dryer filters need emptying, they should be checked for any rips or tears and replaced as necessary. Use a brush or vacuum to regularly clean out the filter chute and where applicable the vent hose thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the vent cover on the exterior of your building which can become blocked if not cleaned regularly.
If you’re using a condenser dryer, ensure you empty the water reservoir and clean the condenser regularly. Also check the hose at the back for any excess lint that may have accumulated inside.
NB: The dryer should be cool before removing the filter.
Some tumble dryers will have moisture sensors, which control settings such as ‘auto-dry’. In a holiday home this will be particularly useful for guests who want to make the most of their time, rather than waiting for clothes to dry.
It can also reduce your electricity bill!
Experts recommend wiping the drum every few months using stainless steel cleaner or even white vinegar!
NB: Ensure the machine is turned off when carrying out any maintenance!
Talk to an expert!
These are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of problems with tumble dryers in the holiday home. For specialist advice and regular servicing we recommend you talk to an appliance engineer or consult with the manufacturer. We also recommend that you check the manufacturers website periodically for safety notices and details of recalls.
Guidance for guest staying in your holiday lets
As with your other appliances, it’s always good practice to provide a copy of the tumble dryer operating instructions in your Holiday Home Welcome Folder or information pack, together with a polite note of any house rules, such as, not to be left running whilst out and clean the filter between each use.
If you have found this article on tumble dryer safety for holiday lets useful, you may also find the following posts covering maintenance and health safety of interest:
- Limiting the risks of slips and trips in your holiday home
- Essential decking maintenance for holiday lets
- Reducing the risk of chimney fires
- Preventing the 5 most common causes of fire in holiday homes
- Focus on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in holiday homes
- Fire Safety of furniture and furnishings in your holiday home
- Maintaining electrical appliances in your holiday home
- 10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior
- 10 steps to revive your holiday homes interior
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.