There are several reasons for a dryer not heating properly. Luckily, there are straightforward ways to determine the problem.

Top 8 Reasons for the Dryer Not Heating Complaint

Here are the most common reasons your dryer isn’t drying your clothes properly.

Clogged Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent is one of the leading causes for a dyer not heating properly. Lint builds up over time and obstructs the airflow. This can prevent the dryer from heating, and can even lead to dangerous dryer fires. The first thing to check when your dryer won’t heat is the dryer vent duct. You can learn more about dirty dryer vents here, and be sure to clean them at least once or twice each year.

Heating Element

Unsurprisingly, the heating element is the part of the dryer that creates warm air. Once the heating element breaks, it can cause the machine to spin but not heat, leaving you with damp clothes. Inspect the element for any broken coils, and test the part for continuity using a multimeter on the electrical leads.

If you discover that the part is damaged or has no continuity, it will need to be replaced. Sadly, heating elements cannot be fixed, and you’ll need to have it swapped out by a repair specialist.

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is another key part of the dryer’s heating system. It can be found in the fuse box on the back of the dryer. The fuse is designed to fail if the dryer gets too hot inside for protection. Your dryer may be getting too hot due to clogged vents, or event being overloaded with clothes.

You can test the thermal fuse for continuity by using a multimeter, but it is still recommended that you call a professional. This should be a quick test for most repair techs.

Gas Valve Solenoid

If you’ve got a gas-powered dryer, the problem could be the gas valve solenoids, which are small coils that open and close the gas valve that heats the dryer. If these coils malfunction, it will keep the gas valves from functioning, resulting in a dryer that doesn’t heat properly.


Another frequent problem for gas-powered dryers is the igniter malfunctioning. In order for the gas to actually heat the dryer, it must first be ignited by the igniter. If the igniter isn’t working properly the dryer cannot produce any heat. This is something that you’ll want to fix immediately. You don’t want your dryer to be leaking gas into your home.

While a gas igniter can also be tested using a multimeter, we strongly suggest hiring a professional for any gas dryer repair issue. Safety is the primary concern when working with flammable gas.


On many models of dryers, the timer controls the various functions of the dryer. If your timer isn’t advancing properly, it can cause a variety of different problems, including your dryer not heating. The timer controls the heating circuit on most models, so if it doesn’t cycle through, the dryer will fail to move on to the heating portion of the drying cycle.

Main Control Board

The main control board is the part that controls all of the other parts of your dryer. This is one of the most important components on the whole unit. If your main control board is malfunctioning, it’s likely that you’re seeing more problems than the unit not heating. If this piece is broken, there is a good chance it will be an expensive fix.

Cycling Thermostat

Dryers are designed with a thermostat that tells the computer when the clothes have reached the correct temperature. This is how the machine knows when to switch the heating element on or off. If your thermostat is broken, it might be sending the incorrect signals back to the main control board resulting in the dryer not heating.