A Kenmore dryer is a big investment and one you hope to make only a few times in your life. Fortunately, Kenmore dryers are made to last for many years -- probably longer than you'll own a car. Increase your dryer's life expectancy through proper daily care and regular maintenance. Line dry clothes during warm weather to reduce wear on the dryer and save energy.
The average lifespan of a Kenmore dryer is 14 years. Some dryers may last as long as 18 years, while others may last only 11 years. Electric dryers tend to last slightly longer than gas dryers. Variables that influence longevity include how often you use your dryer and how well you maintain it. A large family that washes many loads of laundry each week will likely replace a dryer sooner than a small family with less laundry.
Proper daily use can influence how long a Kenmore dryer lasts. Remove lint from the lint filter before every load. For maximum efficiency, separate clothing by weight and texture. Don't overload the dryer, but run several loads consecutively, which reduces drying time and increases efficiency because the dryer is already heated up. Install a metalized exhaust duct and make sure it doesn't kink.
The single most important task in maintaining a Kenmore dryer is to clean the duct vent at least once a year, especially if the dryer is not drying as efficiently. A blocked duct puts an extra burden on the motor, which can cause permanent damage. Clean the dryer, inside and out, with a damp cloth and vacuum underneath and around it to remove lint.
When the dryer breaks down, you have three options: repair it yourself, hire a service technician or buy a new dryer. Depending on the problem, you can probably repair it yourself if you are handy. Most manufacturers offer a parts list and repair manual. If you're considering paying someone to fix it, consider how old the dryer is. If it is under 10 years old, it is definitely worth fixing. On the other hand, Kenmore dryers 15 years or older are probably at the end of their lifespan. You're probably better off investing in a new dryer.
Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."