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On average, most dryers can reach temps of up to 225 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.
This article was written and reviewed in combination with our appliance expert – James Blackford. James has spent over 16 years repairing thousands of different appliances, including many dryer issues.
Fixing A Dryer That Gets Too Hot
When a dryer heats up there are several parts that help to regulate the dryer’s 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.
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.
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.
If this is happening, the clogged vent means the moisture also can’t escape. A clue if this is the case is if your clothes feel like they’ve been steamed instead of dried.
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 will blow, so the dryer won’t turn on or heat.
This won’t trip the breaker, and it also isn’t possible to reset it. There’s no other fix than to replace the high-limit thermostat.
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.
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.
An easy check for dryer airflow is to hold down the door switch (so it thinks it’s closed) and start the dryer.
Hold a piece of paper in front of the the filter or vent and see how well it sucks the paper to it.
If it’s pulling out of your hand, you’re good, but if it’s barely moving – your airflow may be the issue to the dryer being too hot.
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.
Unfortunately, the thermister can’t be inspected without taking the dryer apart and using a multimeter.
If you do dive in and open up the dryer, then 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.
You can 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Hot Should A Dryer Be?
Dryers typically range anywhere from 100-225 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?
Yes, a dryer being too hot (above 225 degrees Fahrenheit) is a dangerous sign.
If you measure this consistently, you should stop using the dryer. Follow the tips in the article to try and DIY the issue. If these don’t work, please get in touch with an appliance repair technician.