Dryers are a wonderful convenience, but when they take too long to dry clothes, it can be frustrating. A clogged vent may be the culprit, preventing hot air from reaching your laundry. In this post, we’ll explore several possibilities for why your dryer takes too long to dry and suggest how to troubleshoot each one. Happy drying!

Why Does My Dryer Take Too Long?

Dryers typically take 45 minutes to dry a load of laundry and will differ based on the cycle settings. The two most important aspects of drying clothes are heat and airflow. If your dryer takes longer than usual to dry your clothes, a clogged vent may prevent hot air from reaching your clothes.

Signs of a Clogged Dryer Vent

  • Your dryer takes longer than usual to dry
  • You notice a burning smell when the dryer is running
  • The outside of the dryer gets very hot
  • Your clothes get very hot but remain damp
  • The outside vent hood isn’t opening properly
  • There is lint or debris around the dryer hose or outside vent opening

Effects of Clogged Dryer Vent

If left clogged, your dirty dryer vent could have serious consequences like permanent damage to the dryer or even a fire. Excess lint, dirt, and debris buildup inside your dryer vent duct or hose reduces airflow. It can’t effectively push the hot, moist air out of the dryer, so it stays in your clothes, causing the dryer to take two cycles to dry.

If you’ve checked your vent and your still having to wait a long time for dry clothes, you might be encountering a problem with the dryer’s heat system. To check for this, run the dryer and feel the air coming out of the exhaust vent. If the dryer is on high heat, this air should be hot.

Why Is My Dryer Not Heating?

There are several reasons for a dryer not heating properly. The most common reasons for an electric or gas dryer not heating are clogged vents or a failing heat source.

  1. Clogged dryer vent.
  2. Heating element is malfunctioning.
  3. Thermal fuse is failing.
  4. Gas valve solenoids aren’t opening.
  5. Gas dryer igniter isn’t lighting.
  6. Timer isn’t moving.
  7. Main control board is failing.
  8. Cycling thermostat is broken.

Clogged Dryer Vent

A clogged vent is one of the leading causes of a dryer not heating. Lint builds up over time and obstructs the airflow, which can prevent the dryer from heating and even lead to dangerous fires.

dryer not heating

Heating Element

Unsurprisingly, the heating element is the part of the dryer that creates warm air. Once the heating element breaks, the dryer will still spin, but it won’t heat, leaving you with damp clothes. Inspect the piece for 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 professionally replaced.

Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is another vital 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. If your dryer’s not heating, check that you don’t have it overloaded or a clogged vent.

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

On a gas-powered dryer, the problem could be the gas valve solenoids. The gas valve solenoids are small coils that open and close the valve that heats the dryer. If these coils malfunction, the gas valves will stop functioning, and your dryer won’t heat.

Igniter

Another frequent problem for gas-powered dryers is the igniter malfunctioning. For the gas to heat the dryer, it must first be ignited by the igniter. The dryer cannot produce heat if the igniter isn’t working correctly. 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.

Timer

On many models of dryers, the timer controls the various functions of the dryer. If your timer isn’t advancing correctly, it can cause multiple 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 critical components of the whole unit. If your main control board is malfunctioning, you’re likely seeing more problems than the dryer 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.

If you still experience that your dryer takes too long to dry or your dryer’s not heating, you may need to have your dryer inspected by a professional. Appliance Repair Specialists are professional dryer repairmen and also offer dryer vent cleaning services. Give us a call today!