Dear Heloise: In changing our dryer location, we learned that many of the very flexible dryer vent pipes (that connect to the back of your dryer) are flammable. The white vinyl kind is very flammable. The bright silver slinky style can be too! So, after a bit of online research for inflammable kinds, we headed to the nearby home supply store and found what we needed for about $10. Dryer venting to the outside should be cleaned, at the minimum, once a year to prevent lint buildup, which is a potential fire hazard, and to improve your dryer function. That kind of pipe should not have any screws because lint builds up on the screws, and that can cause lots of problems. There's a wide silver tape for that, which is not expensive. Hope this info is helpful.

— Mary A., Vancouver, Wash.

Dear Heloise: Lately in these times, I forget to put my mask on when leaving my car, and I have to go back. Now I put the mask on the door handle that opens the door. Problem solved.

— Reader in Arcanum, Ohio

Reader in Aracanum: What a clever idea! Some of our readers have told us that they always keep a cloth mask in their purse, or put one in a pocket before leaving the house, just to make sure they have a mask with them at all times.

Dear Heloise: If you are selling your home, you need to give a good first impression and that starts with curb appeal. Having worked in real estate for many years, I have some hints to help you sell your home. Make sure you:

● Wash all the windows, plant flowers and trim shrubbery. No toys in the front yard.

● Paint the front door if it needs a coat of new paint, and if your outdoor lighting needs an update, replace old fixtures for modern ones.

● If your garage door is old, paint or replace it.

● Paint is the cheapest way to improve a home. Make certain that you use white, off-white, very pale gray or a light beige in all the rooms that can be seen from the front entrance.

● Clean and organize every room. Declutter all the closets, shelves and kitchen/bath counters, too. Open all the drapes and blinds to bring in as much light as possible.

● Put away the family photos. Mend all cracks in the walls, repair all plumbing and replace cracked tiles. If you have area rugs or carpeting, it's always nice to have them shampooed so they look and smell clean.

● The worst thing you can do is to invest too much money in expensive things such as carpeting.

— A reader

Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers that if they get any emails from stores or financial businesses like a bank, etc., they should contact the company shown on the email and request to talk to their fraud department. Most companies will ask you to forward the fraudulent email to them, as they have methods of tracing the senders.

— Robert S., The Villages, Fla.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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