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Doing the laundry is on every homeowner’s list of to-do chores. It’s not one that most particularly enjoy, but it becomes even more cumbersome if your dryer isn’t heating up and your clothes are still coming out damp. It’s always a letdown when the dryer has been running for almost an hour, you hear the beep, then you go to check the clothes and they’re still not dry. That motivation you had to get everything folded just diminished and now you have to wait for an entire cycle to hopefully come out with dry clothes the second time.

If your dryer isn’t heating up, learn about potential causes like a clogged vent, tripped circuit breaker, bad heating element, faulty timer, or improper settings. We will also explore solutions and preventive measures for a hassle-free laundry experience.

Clogged Dryer Vent

If the dryer is overly hot to the touch, just not quite warm enough to dry clothes, takes multiple cycles to dry or smells like burning, then you may have a clogged dryer vent. Vents can get clogged with lint, debris from clothes, debris from pockets (like when your kid forgets all his wrappers in there), or even bird nests from your outside dryer exhaust vent. To check if a clogged vent is the issue, you can turn the dryer on and go to the exhaust vent outside of the home to see if warm air is coming out of the exhaust. If no warm air is coming out, then chances are that your dryer vent, sometimes called a dryer duct, is clogged. A dryer vent cleaning should easily solve the problem. Before calling for a dryer vent cleaning also make sure to check that the lint screen is clean as a clogged screen can cause similar issues. The lint screen is the part inside the dryer that comes in and out and catches lint and debris from clothes. This should be cleaned with each load and is separate from the dryer vent itself.

If you have short dryer duct run, you may be able to clean the dryer vent on your own using a dryer vent cleaning kit. However, if you have a longer run or just don’t want to deal with the mess and fuss, you can call for a professional dryer vent cleaning.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

If you find the dryer not heating up at all but still running, a tripped circuit breaker is the most likely culprit. Electric dryers have 2 circuits. 1 for power and 1 for heating. If the heating circuit is tripped, then it will cause the dryer to not heat up. However, the dryer will still be able to run. So, if you do happen to find the breaker tripped, just flip it back on and see if that fixes your problem. If it does not, move on to the following possible culprits.

Bad Heating Element 

Much like the circuit breaker issue, a bad heating element could be the cause if your dryer is still running, but just not heating. If you have checked the circuit breaker and that isn’t the issue, then your dryer heating element may just need to be replaced. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself you’ll need to call in an appliance repair company.

Bad Dryer Timer or Sensor

If your clothes are coming out slightly dry, then you may have a bad timer. A bad timer or sensor can cause the dryer not to proceed to the next cycle in a timely fashion or, on the flip side, it may proceed through all the cycles too quickly and think that the process is complete.

Improper Dryer Setting

If the load you are drying is very large, but the dryer setting you have chosen does not reflect that, then the sensor inside the dryer may think the clothes are already dry and shut off early.

If you’re washing large items make sure you choose a setting that is appropriate. Don’t mix small items like shirts in with larger items like towels. If the shirts become dry then it is likely the dryer will shut off and disregard the fact that all the towels are still wet. It’s best to keep like-items together.

Blown Thermal Fuse

This is a safety feature that prevents your dryer from getting too hot and catching fire. Depending on the type of dryer you have, once the thermal fuse is blown it may continue to work without heating up. On some models the dryer will just shut off all together. 


Question: Why is my dryer not heating up?

Answer: A non-heating dryer may result from various issues, such as a clogged vent, tripped circuit breaker, bad heating element, faulty timer, or improper settings. Conduct thorough checks and consider professional dryer vent cleaning for optimal performance.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Services

If you’re in need of dryer vent cleaning near Cincinnati, OH, contact Quality Comfort Home Services! Give us a call at 513-620-4822 or book service online anytime. Our service is a flat-rate, upfront fee based on where your dryer vents from the home. We don’t charge by the length of the dryer run like many other companies. We also offer dryer vent repair and replacement. If you believe there is a problem with a part in the dryer itself, we recommend contacting your local appliance repair company or reaching out to the manufacturer if the dryer is still under warranty.