10 Reasons Your Dryer Is Not Heating

If you are having problems with your dryer not heating, you’re not alone! Many homeowners experience this issue at some one point or another. Luckily, there are a few common culprits that can be easily checked and fixed. In this blog, we cover 10 reasons why your dryer might not be heating properly. Some you can check and resolve yourself, but most will require a certified technician to diagnose and repair.

#1 Dryer Settings

The first thing to check is your dryer settings. It could be as simple as accidentally drying your wet clothing on air dry or air fluff. Or on a setting that is too low to dry the items in your dryer efficiently.

Adjusting the dryer settings is the fastest and easiest fix on this list!

#2 Tripped Circuit Breaker

If your dryer won’t turn on, check to see if your circuit breaker has been tripped. A circuit breaker works to protect the wiring in your home from overheating by switching off the power when the current is too high.

It’s not uncommon for circuit breakers to trip every so often, but if it trips frequently—it’s time to call an electrician. The fix could be as simple as having too many items plugged into one outlet. However, it could be a short circuit, other electrical issues, and is apotential fire hazard.

#3 No Gas

Another common culprit is that you don’t have gas in your gas lines. Your gas line could be leaking, you forgot to turn the gas back on after a repair, or your line was disconnected while cleaning. Always be careful when sliding your dryer out from the wall so that the gas line isn’t disrupted.

Before you call for repair, check to see if:

  • The gas pipe/line is connected.
  • The gas valve is turned on.
  • Your gas bill is up to date.

Also, be mindful of a rotten egg smell in any area of your home, as it’s a sign of a gas leak. If gas is leaking, turn off the gas in your home ASAP, open windows for ventilation, don’t ignite anything flammable, and immediately call a plumber. You may also need to call the gas company for repair.

#4 Lint and Pet Hair Buildup

Dryer not heating because of lint buildup? One of the reasons you need to clean your lint trap after each load is to minimize the likelihood of a clog in the lint trap. Lint can also build up in the drum, motor, and vent duct. Cleaning out this build-up is one of many reasons to have your dryer serviced annually.

If you have a pet that sheds heavily, there is a higher risk of pet hair buildup. Minimize this build-up by:

  • Lint rolling your clothing at the end of each day.
  • Cleaning out the lint trap halfway through the dry cycle.
  • Adding a FurZapper to your dryer to capture more pet hair.

#5 Ventilation Block

If you’re having an issue with your dryer not heating up, you may have a ventilation block. This can be caused by lint or other debris building up in the dryer vent and blocking the air flow. Without proper airflow, your clothing will remain wet. More importantly, vent blockage is a fire hazard.

There are a variety of DIY vent cleaning tools. You can also use your vacuum or call at technician to service your dryer.

#6 Faulty Timer

Your wet clothing may be the result of a faulty timer. To determine if your dryer timer is broken, set a timer on your phone and check your dryer every 10 to 15 minutes. This will help you identify if it is turning off before the time it’s set for.

Replacing the dryer timer is an easy repair, but it must be performed by a trained professional.

#7 Thermal Fuse

A thermal fuse is a safety device that trips to turn off power to a dryer when it starts to overheat. The thermal fuse is located near the exhaust vent of your dryer, usually behind the drum or inside the control panel.

Just like the fuses in other areas of your home, you will need to replace your thermal fuse at least once during its lifecycle.

#8 Broken Heating Element

If your clothing takes significantly longer to dry than usual, your heating element could be broken. In addition to your dryer not heating up, a broken heating element is inefficient—and a potential fire hazard.

Damaged heating coils are caused by natural wear and tear and can occur with lint blockages. Replacing your coils is not a repair you can perform yourself, so you’ll need to call a technician

#9 Flame Sensor

If you have a gas dryer, your flame sensor could also be faulty. If broken or damaged, a flame won’t ignite to dry your clothing. A multimeter is required to test the flame sensor, which most homeowners don’t have. If you don’t have one, it’s not worth the investment unless you have an ongoing need for one.

If you have a multimeter, check your owner’s manual to see where the flame sensor is. It’s typically a black box outside of the flame igniter below the dryer drum.

#10 Faulty Thermostat

Your dryer thermostat regulates the drying temperature. If it’s not working properly, your clothing will likely be warm but damp. This is because your dryer is heating up, but not to an adequate temperature for drying your clothing.

A technician is required to determine if your thermometer is the culprit.

Dryer Not Heating Up in Santa Barbara?

The factors above are some of the most common reasons your dryer isn’t drying properly. Most need to be diagnosed and repaired by a tenured technician. If you live in Santa Barbara County, we invite you to schedule a same-day service visit with Superior Appliance Repair.

We will quickly diagnose what’s not working, and we can perform most repairs on the same day. If your dryer is more than 10 years old, we will advise on whether it’s more cost-effective to upgrade to a new make and model.



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