Well, this is dull, but as I was installing a new (energy efficient) dryer today I realized our old dryer was being worked too hard — the vent was partially clogged and the plastic flexible vent tube was loaded with lint, as was the vent door, which was letting cold drafts in. I replaced the vents with clean straight metal ducts and used plenty of duct tape.
A quick aside: I am pretty handy, and used to do carpentry for work, so duct tape is not exactly a novelty for me. However, I think I’ll need to confess that this is the first time I used it on a duct.
I noticed two things on this chilly evening: 1) the room was warmer because cold air was no longer leaking in through untaped ducts, and 2) the load of laundry finished drying at least 3x faster than with the old duct and dryer.
So check your dryer vent!
One note on the washer/dryer units — I … well, my wife … did some research last year and found that Fisher & Paykel appliances are both excellent at cleaning, and also very efficient. The washer has all the modern options that let the machine use as little water as needed; this is pretty common, I think. However it also spins wash dry at high RPMs which squeezes much more water out of the clothes, so less drying. Here’s a link to the Fisher Paykel website.