On average, most dryers can reach temps of up to 135 degrees when they go through a cycle. If your dryer is old or is breaking, then it can have trouble regulating the temperature and reach dangerously hot levels. I’ve taken a look around the internet for ways you can help cool it down and have thrown it all into this article.

To cool down a dryer that is getting hot you will need to check the cycling thermostat, high limit thermostat, thermistor, exhaust vent, and airflow. It’s likely one of these areas is causing issues and you’ll need to fix them to regulate your dryer again.

Ready to learn how to cool your dryer down? Then let’s dive straight in.

How to Cool Down Your Dryer

When a dryer heats up there are several parts that help to regulate the temperature so that it doesn’t reach unsafe levels.

When you notice that your dryer is getting a bit too hot to the touch, you’ll want to check on these parts individually and start eliminating possible solutions.

Front panel of a Whirlpool dryer
Maybe you think that your dryer’s temperature is not important but, while it may be hard to believe, dryer fires are a fairly common cause of home fires.

Check your Cycling Thermostat

A cycling thermostat is a part of a dryer that is designed to turn on and off as needed.

This helps regulate the temperature of the dryer, but it can also be faulty and make the dryer hotter than usual.

Checking this first can help you identify whether or not it’s causing your dryer to overheat.

This piece regulates the temperature of a drying machine by turning it on and off as necessary.

The way it all works is that the cycling thermostat has the ability to open and close the electrical current to the heating element in your dryer.

As the temps start to get too hot, the cycling thermostat opens up and causes the heating element to turn off because it kills all electricity in that part of your dryer.

When the temps start to cool off, the cycling thermostat closes back up, allowing the heating element to turn on once again.

If your dryer is getting too hot there’s a good chance the cycling thermostat is faulty and it will need to be replaced.

You can give it a good cleaning first to see if this fixes the issue, but if it doesn’t, you’ll need to get a professional.

Make Sure Your High Limit Thermostat is Functioning

The exhaust vent in your dryer is where all the hot air flows out of, so when it gets blocked with lint and other debris is traps the hot air inside.

To keep your dryer from completely overheating, the high limit thermostat will trip the electricity to your dryer and cause it to shut off completely.

This is so that the temps never get so hot that it might cause a fire with the blocked debris.

What happens though if you never clean out your exhaust vent is that the high limit thermostat starts working in overdrive and will constantly trip the electricity.

If this happens over a long enough period of time, it can cause the high limit thermostat to stop working at all. This would lead to your dryer getting overheated because there’s no backup in place to shut it down.

Your best option to see if this is your problem is to clear out the exhaust vent and then start another dryer cycle. If the machine still overheats, then you’ll need to replace your high limit thermostat.

Look at Your Thermistor

The thermistor is relevant to a lot of late-model dryers that have a solid-state device that regulates the temps inside the dryer.

The thermistor is hooked up to your dryer’s control board and it receives electric signals from the control board to turn on and off the heating element.

There’s a chance the thermistor is dirty, or broken, and isn’t able to receive these signals clearly from the control board. This would cause the dryer to overheat.

Give your thermistor a good wipe down if you have never cleaned it before. The thermistor could work much more efficiently when cleaned.

You can also look in your owner’s manual to see the correct thermistor resistance at room temp. Then, use a multi-meter to check if the thermistor is at that resistance.

You’ll want to unplug your dryer before testing any electrical components.

Clean Your Exhaust Vent

Your exhaust vent is where all the hot air can release into the air duct and out of your dryer.

When the vent is clogged, it will cause the heat to build up in the dryer drum.

You can easily tell if this is happening by touching the top of your dryer. It will be very hot since all the heat is trapped in the drum.

The exhaust vent is also tied to the high limit thermostat. When it gets too hot, the thermostat will automatically turn off the heating element.

This will cause your clothes to take a much longer time to dry.

To clean your vent, you will need to turn it off and unplug your dryer. Detach your vent and wipe out all the debris that is covering it.

You should also look at your vent cap to see if there is any blockage there as well.

There’s a chance you will clean your exhaust vent but the dryer will still get too hot. When that happens, it means your high limit thermostat is probably broken.

Hand using a vacuum to clean an exhaust duct
One of the biggest home fire hazards is a dirty dryer vent, so make sure to clean it regularly.

Improve Airflow

Airflow is essential to having a temperature-regulating dryer.

When the airflow is blocked for any reason the damp, hot air doesn’t have any place to release.

It’s crucial to check all the parts of your machine that deal with airflow to have a properly working dryer.

The exhaust vent I mentioned earlier is key to making sure your dryer temps are regulated, but so are the ducts, the lint trap, and the air blower.

The duct is where the dryer connects to the outside environment to let all the hot air out. You’ll need to clean it periodically to make sure no debris and lint are left inside.

The lint trap is usually on the top of your dryer and should be cleaned after a big load or every other use. When the dryer gets too hot it could potentially cause a fire with the build-up lint.

By checking all your different options, you can improve airflow and help cool down your dryer.

Cooling Down Your Dryer

When a dryer is too hot, you need to check out the individual parts that deal with the dryer’s temperature regulations. Otherwise, your dryer could be too hot and cause an even bigger problem like a fire.

The cycling thermostat, high limit thermostat, thermistor, exhaust vent, and airflow are all problem areas to check. By cleaning, and possibly replacing the pieces, you should have regular temperatures in your dryer.

Thanks for reading and if you still need some more help with your dryer, try out the other articles below.

FAQ

How Hot Should a Dryer Be?

Dryers typically range anywhere from 125-135 degrees Fahrenheit. This is generally enough to turn the water into vapor which dries your clothes.

If you feel your dryer is getting hotter than this temperature, you can use temp gauges to see what the exact temperature of your dryer is.

Is it Dangerous for a Dryer to Be Too Hot?

If a dryer gets too hot, it can be dangerous for several reasons including causing personal harm, breaking the dryer, or causing a fire in your home.

The lint that builds up in your dryer is extremely flammable, so if the dryer gets too hot there’s a chance it could ignite the lint and start a fire.