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Why is My Dryer Not Heating?

At some point or another, most of us have experienced a time when a load of clothes turned up still wet after a normal cycle in the dryer. Apart from the annoyance and wasted time of having to run the dryer again, it also results in extra energy use. It is important to attend to such issues, especially since they could eventually lead to a house fire. Some common problem reasons that dryers do not heat properly include dirty lint screens, blockages of the vent pipe, or a twisted hose. Occasionally the heating element itself might partially or entirely give out.

  • Dryer Problems – Learn why some dryers need to be run multiple times to dry efficiently.
  • Dryer Interiors – View a diagram that explains the inner parts of a dryer.
  • Steam Dryers - Read an explanation of how steam dryers function.
  • Dryer Operations – This is an in-depth description of how dryers operate.
  • Dryer Energy Usage – Malfunctioning dryers can increase energy costs.
  • Gas Dryers – See how gas dryers differ from electric ones in many ways.
  • Issues with Dryers – Read a series of questions and answers related to dryer problems and their causes.
  • Dryer Difficulties – Find the solutions to frequent dryer problems.
  • Pinpointing Dryer Problems – Learn how to narrow down the cause of a malfunctioning dryer.
  • Dryer Complications – Review the most common dryer problems and their causes.
  • Dryer Fires – A dryer that doesn't heat properly can also easily cause a fire.

When a dryer does not heat or dry properly, one of the first and easiest points to check is the lint screen. In general, lint should be removed from the screen after every dryer cycle. Even so, there is an invisible layer of residue that is left behind on the screen, impeding the normal drying process. To clean it, simply rinse with warm water and a small amount of dish soap, while lightly scrubbing the screen with a toothbrush. Let it fully dry before inserting it back into the machine. Often lint can also get trapped in other areas of the dryer. The vent pipe and hose can easily become blocked. When the dryer is turned off and unplugged, carefully check both of these parts to ensure that they are free of blockages. Similarly, a twisted or kinked hose can reduce air flow. To fix it, simply untwist the hose. It is advisable to check it thoroughly for any holes or tears, and replace it if damaged. Many people make the mistake of opening the dryer door during or immediately after a dryer cycle. This is actually quite bad for the dryer since the sudden rush of cold air inside can damage the hot heating element. Instead, give the dryer some time to cool down after a cycle before opening the door. For issues with a heating element, always ask a professional to fix or replace it to avoid further problems.

  • Fixing a Dryer – Find useful tips on troubleshooting common clothes dryer issues.
  • Troubleshooting Dryers – Review answers and solutions to typical dryer problems.
  • Dryer Tips – Learn about how to buy the best type of dryer and maintain it properly.
  • Dryer Maintenance – Maintaining a clothes dryer regularly helps to improve drying times and energy use.
  • Safety & Maintenance – Taking care of a dryer properly also reduces fire risks.
  • Replacing a Dryer Fuse – Follow a photographic guide on how to change a fuse in a dryer.
  • Dryer Testing – Learn how to test a dryer for various issues and fix them.
  • Checking the Fuse – Find out exactly how to locate and test the dryer's fuse.
  • Dryer Operational Issues – Learn how to fix issues such as when dryers stop heating, make strange sounds, or cannot start.
  • Replacing and Fixing Parts – This guide provides details on which parts to fix or replace for a problematic dryer.
  • Dryer Venting – Read about the best ways to vent a dryer to improve drying functions.
  • Lint Screens – Cleaning the lint screen often is a quick but efficient way to keep dryers working well.
  • Exhausts – Clothes that are still wet at the end of a dryer cycle might indicate that the exhaust needs to be replaced.
  • Lint Removal (DOC) – Lint can build up in many parts of a dryer and hinder its normal functionality.
  • Regular Maintenance (PDF) – Learn about a few basic tips for regular dryer maintenance.

By using a clothes dryer responsibly and taking a few moments to regularly clean and maintain it, owners can easily extend the life of the appliance. Beyond this, these simple steps also help to reduce energy use and costs.

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