Dryer Not Heating? 9 Easy Fixes To Get It Warm Again

Reasons Why Your Dryer Isn't Heating Up

Is your dryer refusing to heat up?

You’re not alone! I know how annoying it can be when your dryer stops working, especially when you have a pile of wet clothes.

But don’t worry; I’m here to help!

If your dryer isn’t heating, chances are it’s not getting the proper voltage, or the vent is clogged. It could also be a heating element issue- like the dryer’s thermal fuse, solenoid, or igniter.

Read on to learn how to fix the issue today!

Why trust us? This article was written by Craig Anderson and James Blackford.

Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.

James is one of our resident appliance experts with over 16 years of experience. He currently works as a Master Technician for SquareTrade, and runs his own appliance repair business.

In-case you prefer to listen, here’s a clip from our podcast where we discuss fixing a dryer that isn’t heating.

9 Reasons Why Your Dryer Won’t Heat

Unfortunately, heating issues are very common. But don’t worry – In this section, I’ll guide you through all the possible reasons why your dryer is not heating and provide various solutions.

#1 Eco-Dry Feature Is Enabled

When I see a dryer that won’t heat, I always check the settings.

You see, some modern dryers, especially Samsung models, come equipped with an eco-dry feature that reduces energy consumption by allowing the dryer to run for a specific amount of time without activating the heating element.

So, if you notice your dryer is not getting hot, ensure the eco setting is not selected.

Dryer Eco mode
Your dryer’s Eco mode can explain why the unit is not heating.

#2 Power Issues

If your dryer is not heating, you’re probably not getting enough proper voltage.

You see, your dryer can run with a voltage of 110V, but it requires 220V to heat up and dry your clothes effectively.

To check the power voltage, please unplug your dryer and access where the cord goes into the back of the unit. Remove the plate that covers the connection.

Then, use a multimeter and check the reading. If you’re not getting 220V, go to the circuit breaker, as sometimes the switch can partially trip, causing the issue.

dryer circuit breaker
If your dryer is not heating up, you’ll need to check the circuit breaker

I recommend turning the dryer switch off and back on and running your dryer again to see if it’s heating.

#3 The Dryer Vent Is Clogged

In my experience, a clogged vent could also explain why your dryer is not heating properly.

You see, a blockage in the dryer vent can prevent moisture from escaping, resulting in heating issues, as it will steam clothes rather than dry them.

Common blockages can occur where the dryer vent connects to the wall or if an item obstructs the external vent.

To test if ventilation is the issue, disconnect the dryer vent from the wall and run a load of clothes with the vent blowing into your laundry room. If they dry properly, the problem likely starts at the wall connection or roof vent.

You can easily test the ventilation effectiveness using a thin piece of paper. Select a cycle, hold the door switch shut, and start the dryer. Then, place the piece of paper near the lint trap area.

Adequate airflow should cause the paper to be pulled towards the lint trap. If that doesn’t happen, it confirms a ventilation problem.

In such cases, I recommend cleaning the lint trap, as lint buildup can restrict airflow. Inspecting the vent hose and replacing it if it’s kinked or damaged is also important.

cleaning lint trap
Clean the lint screen after every load.

Don’t forget to clean the ventilation system with a vacuum cleaner or a vent cleaning brush to remove debris from the vent hose. While at it, please check the external vent and ensure it’s free of obstructions.

Inspecting the ventilation system can also help you prevent fire hazards.

Check out our free maintenance & care guide to prevent lint buildup and make the most out of your dryer!

#4 There’s a Problem With the Thermal Fuse

When fixing a dryer that is not heating properly, I always inspect the thermal fuse.

You see, the thermal fuse is responsible for detecting the temperature inside your dryer. If it’s not operating properly, your dryer will have difficulties figuring out how warm it is inside.

If your dryer cannot detect the right temperature, it will not heat to prevent a fire from starting.

To inspect the thermal fuse, please consult the manufacturer’s manual. Then, figure out where the thermal fuse is located and test it with a multimeter.

If you get an absent resistance reading from the thermal fuse, it is not working properly.

I recommended calling a professional for assistance with changing the thermal fuse in your dryer. Attempting to do it yourself can void your warranty.

#5 The Heating Element Is Busted

If your dryer is still having heating issues, it’s time for us to check the heating element.

As the name suggests, the heating element generates heat inside the dryer. Even though a heating element is usually relatively durable, it can fail like other machine parts. 

If you are concerned that the heating element is not working properly, you will need to look at your dryer’s manual to figure out where it is located.

After you find the heating element, use a multimeter to test it. If it does not have much current flowing through it, it will need to be replaced.

You can find the right heating element for your dryer on websites like Sears Parts. Then, I recommend comparing prices from more affordable sites like eBay or Amazon.

If you want to get any replacement part – or see how much one would cost – click to enter your model number in the search bar below. Our partners at AppliancePartsPros stock almost every part with free guides on how to install them.

#6 The Timer Is Not Working Properly

If your dryer is not heating, you need to look closer to ensure the timer is working correctly.

Importantly, if something is wrong with your timer, there could be a wide variety of problems associated with your dryer.

It can be difficult to fix an issue with the timer because you need to figure out what is wrong. For example, there could be an issue with the internal wiring that is causing the heating problems.

Or, there could be a small part of the timer that is not working properly. My usual advice is to rely on a professional who can take a look at the timer and figure out exactly what is wrong.

#7 There Is a Problem with the Gas Valve Solenoid

If you have a gas dryer that is not heating properly, there’s likely a problem with the gas valve solenoid.

The gas valve solenoid is a small coil responsible for opening and closing the gas valve. It could prevent the gas from flowing to the dryer if it’s faulty. As a result, the dryer won’t heat up properly.

If you want to look closer at the gas valve solenoid, you will need to look at the manual to figure out where it is located.

If you want to fix or replace the solenoid, you must reach out to a professional who can help you.

#8 The Igniter Is Not Working Correctly

Another possible reason why your gas dryer is not heating up is because there’s something wrong with the igniter.

As the name suggests, the igniter ignites gas when it flows to the dryer. For your dryer to generate heat, the gas must be ignited.

I’ve seen that if the igniter is not working properly, the gas flowing to the dryer will not get combusted. Without the combustive force, the dryer will not be able to generate any heat.

Please note if the igniter is not working properly, there is a chance that you have a gas leak in your home. Because gas is incredibly flammable, it represents a significant fire hazard.

You should call the gas company to come out and disconnect your gas line if you think something is wrong with your igniter.

While you can test your igniter using a multimeter, it is usually better to rely on a professional who can help you. Given the flammability of gas, safety should always be your first priority.

#9 There’s a Problem with the Main Control Board

If you’ve tried the fixes above, but your dryer is still not heating, there’s likely an issue with the main control board.

You see, the main control board collects information for the rest of the dryer. So, if it’s malfunctioning, your dryer won’t heat up.

In my experience, replacing a main control board can be very expensive. Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to replace the entire dryer.

A diagram of where a dryer's main board is located
A dryer won’t heat up if some components of the main board have shorted.

Wrapping Up: Fixing a Dryer That Is Not Heating

Hopefully, now you know how to fix the heating issues on your dryer.

Remember, if your dryer is not heating properly, you’ll need to ensure the eco-dry setting is disabled, check the power voltage, inspect the ventilation system, and look at the heating element.

Thank you so much for reading! If you found this guide helpful, please check out our other related posts below.

Good luck!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more