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Dryer Not Heating? 7 Causes and How to Fix

by Ann Louisa


At a Glance:

7 Reasons Your Dryer is Not Heating

Most Dryers Have the Same Systems

It May Be Time to Replace Your Dryer


Why Trust Us?

Is there anything worse than opening your dryer and realizing your clothes are piled in a wet, soggy mess? If a dryer can’t heat up, it won’t effectively dry clothes. The tumbling alone won’t be enough, and you might have to hang up various shirts and dresses around the house to dry.

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There are multiple causes for a dryer not heating. You can take steps to diagnose the issue and repair the problem yourself. However, there are some signs that your dryer is about to break for good — or that the price of repairs isn’t worth the value of the appliance. In this guide, our Spencer’s appliance experts will tell you everything you need to know about your dryer not heating up.

7 Reasons Your Dryer is Not Heating

When something is wrong with your appliance, you can look for clues to find the source of the problem. These clues often fall into two categories: what is working and what isn’t. With your dryer, check to make sure every other aspect of your appliance is working. If your dryer turns on, tumbles, and runs for the appropriate amount of time, then you can diagnose it as a heating issue. However, if the dryer won’t turn on or rotate, there could be other problems.

Here are a few common causes of a dryer not heating:

  1. Your dryer is set to an “eco” or cool setting. This is the easiest problem to solve. Someone might have used the dryer before you and changed the settings but didn’t turn them back. Make sure your dryer is set to hot.
  2. The lint trap is full. If the lint trap hasn’t been cleaned out, some dryers will switch their heating elements off. This prevents fires but can also leave your dryer without heat.
  3. A circuit breaker tripped. Most dryers need two breakers: one for the motor and one for the heating element. One breaker might have flipped if you have a motor but no heat.
  4. There is no gas powering the dryer. Make sure you paid your gas bill and that the gas elements are working correctly.
  5. The thermostat is broken. If you are getting some heat but not enough, there could be an issue with the thermostat reporting too-high temperatures.
  6. The heating element is broken. The part that actually provides heat can break and prevent your dryer from heating up.
  7. There is a broken thermal fuse. Your heating element works, but the device that kicks it one isn’t doing its job. 

You can troubleshoot some of these issues on your own. Check your settings, clean your lint trap, and look at your circuit breakers. When you call a handyman for help or reach out to the manufacturer support line, you can skip all the basic repair steps because you have already looked at these minor issues.

Most Dryers Have the Same Systems

Almost every dryer has the same components that come together. The only differences from one brand to the next are the design, proprietary technology, and smart capabilities. This means an issue with a Samsung dryer not heating will follow the same or similar troubleshooting process of a Whirlpool dryer not heating. So, you don’t have to call a brand-specific handyman, and you can turn to online resources (like this one) to solve the problem.

If you do think your dryer is experiencing a brand-specific problem, turn to your user manual. You can also ask for help online. By searching a phrase like “Maytag dryer not heating,” you can discover whether or not this is a chronic problem that other customers face. There may be an issue with that model that other buyers have learned how to fix.

It May Be Time to Replace Your Dryer

If your dryer breaks frequently or is getting older, it may be time to replace it with a new model. Repairs can get expensive, and you could put that money into a new dryer instead. Don’t risk opening your dryer door to discover wet clothes. Here are four models from our dryer catalog that will provide reliable service for years to come.

Whirlpool® 7.4 Cu. Ft. White Front Load Electric Dryer

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Whirlpool offers several base models if you want a simple dryer that will last. These appliances are high quality, and you don’t have to pay extra for many useful features. This option comes in a white or gray finish and is a large-capacity electric dryer for family-sized loads. The AccuDry™ sensor identifies whether your laundry needs more time or if a cycle can end early, increasing the appliance’s energy efficiency.

There are 35 different cycles you can set with this dryer depending on the heat, tumble speed, and duration. It is also a smart appliance that can be managed over Wi-Fi. Customers who review this appliance have positive things to say, especially when it comes to drying clothes quickly. 

Samsung 7.5 Cu. Ft. White Front Load Electric Dryer

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Another option if you are buying on a budget but also want some high-tech features is this dryer by Samsung. The Steam Sanitize+ feature can eliminate 99.9% of germs and bacteria from your clothes. If you have kids who touch every surface and pick up all kinds of germs at school, then you need this feature. This dryer will also remove pollen, dust mites, and pet dander from your clothes.

You can use the Smart Care app to control the dryer, change the settings, and extend the time if you need to. This appliance also has a lint filter indicator which alerts you when it’s time to clean out the lint trap. If your dryer is not heating because of lint buildup, this feature can remind you to clean out the filter.

 Read why customers love this appliance and benefit from having it in their homes. 

LG 7.3 Cu. Ft. Graphite Steel Front Load Gas Dryer

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If you need a gas dryer in your home, you can’t go wrong with this model by LG. The TurboSteam™ technology simultaneously dries your clothes while incorporating steam to prevent wrinkles. This can cut down on the time you spend ironing after your clothes are dry. The Sensor Dry system also determines how much longer your clothes need to dry, which can shorten your cycle and save energy.

You can connect your dryer to the ThinQ® system by LG if you use this app in other parts of your home. You can buy this model  in a graphite steel finish. Customers rave about the durability of LG products and how they expect this dryer to last. 

Maytag® 7.3 Cu. Ft. White Front Load Gas Dryer

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Another quality option to replace your gas dryer is this model by Maytag. It comes in either white or slate finishes to match your existing appliances and design style.

If you need a boost to your laundry, press the Extra Power button. It will increase the time, temperature, and power of the cycle to ensure your clothes are dry. It also comes with a Reduce Static option, so your clothes don’t stick together, and the metal drum doesn’t create little electric shocks when you touch it. 

 Customer reviews mention how quiet it is, so you can run it at night or while your child is sleeping without waking them up. 


Why is my dryer running but not heating?

Most clothes dryers have two key elements: a motor and a heater. The heating element is broken if your dryer runs but won’t heat up to dry your clothes. This could be an electrical issue with the circuit breaker or a mechanical issue with the appliance itself.

Should you repair your old dryer or replace it?

When a dryer breaks, you can choose between paying for repairs or buying a new one. First, get an estimate on the total cost for repairs. Then consider how old your dryer is. It might be worth the cost to buy a new dryer if you have an older model that requires a lot of work. If your dryer is older than 10 years, it’s time to replace it.

Why Trust Spencer’s TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction have always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!

Shop Dryers at Spencer’s

At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop dryers online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you identify the source of a dryer not heating and help you find a replacement model. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!

Learn More: Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Clothes Dryer