Dryer Not Getting Hot Enough? Here’s 7 Known Causes, With Fixes

Dyer lint light stuck on

Is your dryer not getting hot enough like it used to?

You’re not alone! I know how annoying it can be when your dryer isn’t getting to the right temperature.

But don’t worry; I’m here to help.

If your dryer is not getting hot enough, it’s likely overloaded, has a clogged vent, or isn’t closed properly. It could also be too small to cope with large loads or have a busted heated element.

Keep reading to learn how to get your dryer working again!

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.

The Top 7 Reasons Why Your Dryer Is Not Getting Hot Enough

In this section, I’ll guide you through the most common reasons your dryer gets warm but not hot. I’ll also provide different solutions to help you forget all about the temperature issues.

#1 The Dryer Is Overloaded

When fixing a dryer that is not getting hot enough, I always ensure it’s not overloaded.

You see, if the dryer is too full, the heat will not circulate properly. As a result, your energy bills will skyrocket, and your clothes will not get dry.

Even though you want the dryer to dry your clothes as quickly as possible, you need to refrain from stuffing your dryer full.

overloaded dryer
Avoid overloading your dryer to prevent temperature issues.

You should take a look at the manual and see what the recommended load is for the dryer. My usual advice is to keep your dryer 75% full.

Remember that your clothes will be significantly heavier if you put them in the dryer when wet.

If you have a lot of clothes you need to dry, consider dividing your laundry into smaller portions.

#2 The Clothes Are Too Wet When You Put Them In

If your dryer isn’t getting hot enough, your clothes are probably too wet.

Your dryer has not been designed to completely dry clothes that are soaked all the way through, which is why your washing machine spins rapidly, removing a significant portion of the water before you put your clothes in the dryer. 

If you put clothes completely soaked in the dryer, a normal cycle will not do it. It will force the motor to work too hard, as the dryer will add more time to the cycle.

dryer clothes
 Dripping wet clothes can overwork your dryer’s drum, bearings, and heating element, causing the unit to break down.

Putting soaking wet clothes will shorten the lifespan of your dryer, so please take a closer look at your washing machine, and ensure you have it set to spin your clothes dry before you put them in the dryer.

#3 The Lint Trap Is Too Dirty

When I see a dryer not hot enough, I always clean the lint trap.

You see, not cleaning the lint trap after every load will affect airflow and the drying performance.

Therefore, you should take a few minutes to clean the lint trap before you put your clothes in the dryer. 

cleaning dryer lint filter

Cleaning the lint screen after every load is also crucial to prevent fire hazards.

If you need help removing the lint from your trap, consider using a magic wand to collect all of the lint before you put your clothes in the dryer.

#4 The Door Is Not Closed All the Way

From what I’ve seen, another possible reason your dryer is not getting hot enough is that the door is not fully closed, and the hot air is leaking from the drum.

The door has to be completely closed before the dryer has turned on. You should feel an audible click when you close the door. If you don’t hear anything, then the door is not completely closed.

In such cases, it’s important to ensure there are no clothes in the way of the door latch. Then, inspect the latch and check if it’s busted. If it is, please replace it.

dryer door latch
Tumble dryer not getting hot enough? Check the door latch!

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.

#5 There Is a Clogged Vent

If your tumble dryer is not getting hot enough, you’re likely dealing with airflow issues.

In my opinion, the easiest way to check the dryer airflow is to hold down the door switch and start a cycle at a low temperature. Then, place a piece of paper under the lint trap.

You’re good if the dryer is trying to suck the piece of paper out of your hand and into the lint trap. But if the paper is barely moving, poor airflow is likely why your dryer is not hot enough.

I also recommend checking the air vents. To do it, unplug the dryer, pull it away from the wall, remove the dryer vent cover, and inspect it. If there’s lint buildup, the air will not flow through the spinning drum, and the motor will work harder to dry your clothes.

In such cases, you must clean the air vent and reconnect it to the dryer. Then, plug the dryer back in and see if it starts working properly.

#6 The Heating Element Is Burnt Out

Is your dryer still having temperature issues? Then you need to check the heating element.

The heating element is responsible for increasing the air temperature. So, if your dryer is not getting hot enough, the heating element is probably burnt out.

If you have an electric dryer, the air is heated using an electric heating element. But if you have a gas dryer, a gas burner is responsible for heating the air.

You should look at the manual to determine the heating element’s location. Then, ensure the heating element is not blocked by any debris or touching any other electrical components. 

Try using a multimeter to see if power still flows to the heating element. If you are not getting any electrical conductivity, please replace the heating element. Or, if your dryer is over ten years old, consider replacing the whole unit.

#7 The Drive Belt Is Busted

In my experience, dryers will have temperature issues if there’s a problem with the drive belt.

Most dryers have a tumbling feature that ensures the clothes are dried evenly. A drive belt, similar to the drive belt in your car, powers its tumbling motion.

If the drive belt is not working properly, the motor will not function properly.

A diagram of where a dryer's belt is located
If your dryer doesn’t heat up to the right temperature, possible fixes include cleaning the lint screen and replacing a burnt heating element or belt.

If you have gotten this far down the list, it is probably worth it to reach out to a professional who can inspect your dryer to determine if the drive belt is burned out or if there is something else wrong with the motor.

If you need to order a new drive belt for the dryer, you should compare the cost of the replacement part to that of a new dryer.

Wrapping Up: Your Guide to a Hotter, More Effective Dryer

Hopefully, now you know how to fix your dryer temperature issues.

Remember that if your dryer is not getting hot enough, you must avoid overloading it and clean your lint trap after every load. Don’t forget to inspect the heating element and ensure proper airflow.

Thank you so much for reading! If you found this article 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