Dryer vents / piping are a pain. Especially in our house, where there is a long run from the dryer to the outside wall. A couple of years ago I installed a heat activated fan to pull the air through the tubing so the lint would get dry and exit the vent in the back of the house. Cut down on the clumps of wet lint in the tube. I still open it up occasionally and remove the lint. So I don't think lint buildup is the problem.

The problem is all the cheap appliances they build today. Then again, none of us want to pay more up front for better quality, so we don't get what we don't pay for. Hence the service contract. Would I happily pay the $150 the service contract cost toward buying a more expensive dryer that doesn't break? Sure. Now find me a dryer that won't break. At least this way I know Sears will come out within a week and fix it when it does break.

I don't mind laudromats. Slightly inconvenient to get to. But at least they have big machines and lots of dryers so you can get all the laundry done at once. At home you save the car ride and hanging at the 'mat, but you have to run the loads consecutively instead of all at once. So it can take all day to get the laundry done. If you are comfortable leaving your clothes "unguarded" at the 'mat, you can even do the grocery shopping while the stuff is in the washer (especially this time of year when you don't have to worry about finding melted ice cream all over your car's trunk), fold the delicates while the other stuff is drying, and be done with multiple tasks in an hour. No way to get all the laundry clean in an hour at home.

No, the laundromat doesn't bother me much. What bothered me was back when I was single, doing laundry in the laundry room of my apartment building at 10:00 Saturday night because I didn't have anything better to do. The good news was that no one else was doing laundry then so I never had to share machines. And since I was working 80+ hour weeks, that was basically the only time I was both home and awake.

When you can see it coming, duck!