How to Fix A Dryer That’s Not Heating?

Dryers which work with an electric have a heating element. The element consist of a metal chamber which contains a coil of heating wire. Through the coil, electricity creates heat and the air flows through the the chamber becomes hot absorbing this heat. Then the hot air dries your clothes.

When this element is defective, heating won’t happen. If your clothes dryer takes too long to dry your clothes or it doesn’t dry your clothes at all, firstly investigate these five parts of your dryer below to find out why your dryer doesn’t heat your clothes. Once you understand which part you need to fix or replace, you can perform the DIY steps and fix your drying.

The Most Common Causes For A Dryer That Doesn’t Heat

The Most Common Causes For A Dryer That Doesn’t Heat
The Most Common Causes For A Dryer That Doesn’t Heat
  1. A blocked or clogged dryer air vent hose
  2. Clogged Lint Screen (Trap)
  3. Improper electric or as supply to the dryer
  4. Overheated motor because of uneven loads
  5. Washer that leaves your clothes too wet
  6. Other faults or malfunction

A blocked or clogged dryer air vent hose

A blocked or clogged dryer air vent hose
A blocked or clogged dryer air vent hose

Blocked venting is the most common cause of a dryer that doesn’t heat your clothes. So, the first thing you’ve to check is this part and see if the venting is clogged or blocked. First, unplug your dryer from the electric supply on the wall. Reach behind your dryer and locate the air vent hose. Remove it from the wall and dryer carefully. Then, clean the inside of the air vent hose using a dryer vent brush or a normal brush. This will remove all of the dust and built up lint. Also, clean the area on the back of your dryer and the hole where the air is blowing. The build up lint will be in these areas generally. When you clean out all of the lint, reassamble the vent house and put your dryer back in place. Once you done, plug your dryer and run a test.

Clogged Lint Screen (Trap)

When the lint screen is clogged or plugged up, airflow will be reduced and this prevent your clothes from drying. Remove the lint and clean out the lint screen with hot water and dish soap. You can clean the lint screen scrubing with a soft toothbrush.

Improper electric or as supply to the dryer

If your dryer does not heat up, it may be possible that the dryer is not being supplied with the proper voltage. After you make sure your dryer is plugged in, to make sure all of the circuit breakers are in their correct positions check the circuit breaker. Then check your fuse panels. Faulty thermal fuse also cause to the dryer won’t heat. If your dryer’s thermal fuse is faulty, you have to replace it.

Overheated motor because of uneven loads

When you dry the big and small items together, it can be a problem. You have to wash and dry similar items together so that your dryer can function properly. If you don’t dry your clothes in this way, the dryer may overheat and this can cause the motor to stop working temporarily. Then the safety mechanism which is in the motor makes the dryer stop working because of the heat. This mechanism is called thermally protected motor. If the drums of the dryer does not turn, then your clothes won’t be move and get dry.

In this situation, you have to wait the motor to cool down some time. So, if the problem is this, give your dryer some time to cool down and run a test after this. If your motor overheats, you may be overloading to your dryer too many clothes. Remember running your dryer with less clothes in it next time. It will fix the issue.

Washer that leaves your clothes too wet

If your dryer does not heat, the issue may be with the washer. When your washing machine isn’t draning properly out of your clothes, drying the clothes will be much more harder for your dryer.

Other faults or malfunction

The most common causes for this malfunction are above. After you try all the explanations above if your problem is still not fixed, there might be a lot of other reasons. After you unplug your dryer, you can remove the front panel from your dryer and check to see if there is any clear problem. There can be a loose part, loose wire, burned mechanical switches, or any other faulty pieces of the dryer. Other parts that might be faulty would be the heating element, thermostat, thermal fuse or thermal cutoff. Check these parts with a multimeter and inspect the conditions of these parts.

How to test a dryer with a multi-meter:

How to test a dryer with a multi-meter
How to test a dryer with a multi-meter

Things You Will Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Continuity tester
  1. Unplug your dryer from the power supply and locate the heating element. If your heating element is located inside of the dryer, you will have to open your dryer’s cabinet to acces it.
  2. Remove the heating element from your dryer and check if there is any obvious damage or faults.
  3. Set your multi-meter and touch the needle on the end of the tester to element terminals to test. If the light inside of the continuity shines, it means the heating element is in a good condition. If the tester fails to shine, it means that you have to replace it.

High Limit Thermostat

The high limit thermostat is a safety device which is on the heating chamber. It’s job is to prevent your dryer from overheating if the exhaust vent is blocked. A blocked vent may cause the hight limit thermostat activate.

Cycling Thermostat

A cycling thermostat’s job is to control the temperature inside the dryer drum. They cycle the heating element on and off so that the correct amount of heat can be maintained. The cycling thermostats can become defective in time need to be replaced.


Electric coils operate the gas valve. They are controlled by the heat circuit. If the coils don’t work, then the gas valve do not open and it won’t be a heat symptom.

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