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How to repair a dryer that's not getting hot

If you're dealing with a dryer that's spinning but not getting hot, we can help. Asurion Experts are trained and experienced with all major appliances, so they're proven pros at solving precisely this kind of problem. Here are their tips on how to fix a dryer that's not getting hot.

Common causes of a dryer that's not heating

A blocked vent

One of the most common causes of a dryer that isn't hot enough is a blocked vent. You can see whether this is the issue by starting your machine on high heat. Then, find the outside exhaust vent, and feel whether the air is warm and has a steady flow.

If you don't feel much airflow, you may be dealing with a blocked dryer vent or blocked ductwork. For detailed instructions on how to clean them, check out Home Depot's guide to cleaning your dryer's ductwork.

Insufficient power

If your dryer won't get hot and just spins and you've wondered How can I fix it? the solution may be your power source. Whether your machine is gas or electric, dryer temperature may be affected by insufficient power. For an electric dryer, if one of the volt lines is damaged or malfunctioning, you may find the dryer is spinning but not heating. With gas, the dryer will run but won't get hot if the gas isn't on or isn't getting to the appliance. If insufficient power is the cause, contact a dryer repair professional. Dealing with high-voltage electricity or flammable gases without the proper training is dangerous.

A dirty lint screen

Lint screens should be cleaned every time you run the dryer. If the screen gets dirty, your dryer will usually still run hot air, but your clothes may come out damp even after a full cycle. If your lint screen still appears to be dirty, even after you've removed the lint by hand, soak it in warm water and soap and use a toothbrush to scrub it clean. Dry the lint screen thoroughly before replacing it. Next, look into the slot where the filter goes to see if lint has spilled inside. If you find debris there, use a vacuum cleaner to suck it out.

A mixed load of laundry

If you toss all of your wet clothing into the dryer simultaneously, it may result in a dryer that doesn't get hot enough, particularly if you're using auto-dry. The dryer may sense that the lighter items like socks and underwear are already nearly dry and reduce the heat as a result, leaving heavier items such as towels and blankets still damp. Try putting similar items together when you dry, and see if this takes care of your issue.

Tripped thermal fuse

If your dryer is getting too hot, the thermal fuse trips to stop a fire. This is a safety feature installed in most, if not all, dryers. Once the thermal fuse has been tripped, you will find the dryer spinning but not heating.

Sometimes the dryer won't run at all once the thermal fuse has been tripped. You may be able to reset the fuse, but more commonly, it needs to be replaced. Before doing so, however, you need to find out why it was tripped. A tripped dryer fuse is a warning signal, which may indicate that your dryer may be a fire hazard. It's important that you have an appliance repair professional inspect it to understand and address the underlying cause of the problem.

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