Tumble Dryer Not Blowing Hot Air? (here’s why & how to fix)

If the drum on your tumble dryer is spinning but it doesn’t produce any hot air, keep reading. In this article we have listed all of the possible reasons why your appliance might not be heating up.

There are several “quick-fix” solutions as well as some that will require specialist knowledge.

Types Of Tumble Dryers

There are three types of tumble dryers which are;

  1. Vented Tumble Dryers
  2. Condenser Tumble Dryers
  3. Heat Pump Tumble Dryers

Vented Tumble Dryers

Vented dryers remove moisture from your laundry and send it outside of your home via a long vent hose. This limits where you can position a vented dryer because it needs to be close to a vent in the wall, window or open door.

Condenser Tumble Dryers

Condenser dryers store the removed moisture from your laundry in a removable water tank. This allows you more freedom when it comes to siting your dryer as it doesn’t need access to the outside. However, the water tank will need to be emptied regularly.

Heat Pump Tumble Dryers

Heat pump dryers actually recycle the hot air used to dry the laundry. This makes heat pump dryers the most energy efficient. However, programs may need longer to dry your washing than the previous models.

SEE ALSO: Types Of Tumble Dryers Explained – with our recommendations for each

Common Causes For Tumble Dryers To Not Blow Hot Air

The most common cause for a tumble dryer to not blow hot air is a lack of airflow. There are a few reasons for this which include;

Wrong Setting Selected

If your dryer has an eco setting, check that you have not accidentally selected it. If you have, this could be why your clothes are not heating up.

Lint Filter Clogged

You will find the lint filter inside the tumble dryer. Remove the filter from the appliance and brush all of the lint from it. You can then clean the filter using an old toothbrush, hot water and a small amount of washing up liquid.

You’ll need to allow the lint filter to dry completely before putting it back into the dryer.

While it’s out, take the opportunity to clean out the filter housing. Try to remove all traces of lint from the filter housing. This can be achieved by making a small hook on a piece of metal wire.

We found shaping a wire coat hanger with a pair of pliers to be the most convenient way to achieve this. But be careful not to damage it when trying this as you could damage the machine.

Vent Hose Clogged

On vented tumble dryers, if the vent or the vent hose become clogged it prevents the hot air from exiting the dryer. This leads to internal sensors shutting off the heat to prevent the dryer from overheating.

The easiest way to clean the vent is to use a dryer vent cleaning kit. Once all of the lint has been removed the dryer could work properly again.

Gbrand Washing Machine Cleaning Brush, Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit Dryer Lint Brush Vent Trap Cleaner Long Flexible Refrigerator Coil Brush Metal Materials 28.35 Inch
  • 🌻🌻---Improving cloth dryer working performance by using this brush to cleaning the trapped lint and dust in dryer gap and exhaust port
  • 🌻🌻---Flexible rod design, our cleaning brush rod is a flexible design that can be rotated to help you clean the inside of the washing machine, flexible operation, very practical

Filter Drawer Or Condenser Filter Clogged

Condenser and heat pump tumble dryers have an extra filter which is situated behind the front kickplate. On heat pump dryers this is called a filter drawer, and on condenser dryers it’s called a condenser filter.

If these filters become clogged up it could cause the heater to cut out.

To clean these filters use a clean lint-free cloth or use a vacuum cleaner on low suction to remove the lint.

There is also a thin sponge between the filter and the filter screens. This sponge should be removed and washed under a high powered tap or shower.

You’ll then need to allow all of the filters to dry before putting them back into the dryer.

Overloaded Drum

If you overload the drum with laundry, it will prevent the hot air from flowing through each individual item of clothing. 

There is also the possibility of the machine actually preventing the heater element from heating up if you have exceeded the maximum weight rating of your Appliance.

Faulty Moisture Sensor

Almost all tumble dryers have a moisture sensor which comprises of two parallel metal strips. If these strips become coated, they can fail to detect whether the laundry is dry or wet.

Using anti-static sheets can cause the moisture sensor to become coated in a waxy substance which prevents the sensor from working.

Lack Of Airflow

If you have a heat pump or condenser tumble dryer and it’s concealed behind a cupboard door, it could be that it has insufficient airflow.

The cupboard should have ventilation openings on the door at the top and bottom. In addition, the dryer should have a minimum of 3 inches (7.5 cm) clearance at the front and a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) clearance at the rear.

Interrupted Cycle

If you open the dryer door mid-cycle, the air cooling mechanism will stop abruptly. This could cause the dryer’s sensor to detect an overheating issue. Which would lead to the heat being cut out.

Faulty Thermostat

The thermostat monitors and controls the temperature of the tumble dryer. It is connected to the heater element and controls the heat of the dryer.

Once the dryer’s temperature gets to a certain level of heat, the thermostat cuts the heat. If the thermostat develops a fault, it could prevent the dryer from heating.

Heater Fuse Tripped

This is a common reason why tumble dryers stop heating up. This is usually caused by the dryer overheating due to one of the reasons above.

This causes the heater fuse to trip and the machine will not heat up until it is reset. To reset the heater fuse look on the back of the dryer for a red button.

On some models you might need to remove the back panel of the dryer. If you decide to do it yourself, remember to unplug the dryer before you start dismantling the panels.

If you do not feel comfortable attempting this yourself, call an appliance repairman.

Dryer Fan Faulty

Tumble dryers have an internal fan which forces the hot air around the drum. This hot air then flows through the laundry extracting moisture as it goes.

If the fan develops a fault it cannot move any hot air which will leave your laundry feeling wet and cold.

Thermal Fuse Blown

The thermal fuse is a safety cut out that will blow if the heat produced from the dryer is excessive. Once the thermal fuse blows the appliance will not blow hot until the thermal fuse is replaced.

This is a job for an electrical engineer and should not be tackled unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

Internal Electrical Fault

There are several components inside a tumble dryer, all of which have the potential to short circuit. Unless you have the corresponding error code which indicates exactly what’s wrong, it can be difficult to know exactly what’s going on.

We recommend calling an electrical engineer who will usually diagnose your dryer and be able to fix it quickly.

Ways To Prevent Your Tumble Dryer Stopping From Heating Up

Once your tumble dryer is up and running properly again, you should always observe the following to keep it running correctly.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s advice as per the handbook
  • Never overload your tumble dryer
  • Keep all filters clean
  • Empty the water reservoir (condenser)
  • Never use an extension cable, plug the dryer directly into a plug socket

SEE ALSO: Tumble Dryer Alternatives: How to dry clothes indoors without a Dryer

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dryer not blowing hot air?

There are a number of reasons why your tumble dryer is not blowing hot air. They include; Overloading the drum, clogged filters, full water tank, heater fuse tripped, faulty dryer fan, faulty thermostat, interrupted cycle or an electrical malfunction.

Why is my tumble dryer blowing cold air instead of hot?

If your tumble dryer is blowing out cold air instead of hot, it is likely to be caused due to the dryer overheating. If the dryer overheats, it cuts the power to the heater. The appliance will need to be reset before it can be used again.

What to check if the dryer is not getting hot?

If the dryer is not getting hot, you should check the following; The setting you have selected, whether the lint filter is clogged, the water tank needs emptying (condenser), the thermal fuse needs replacing, or the thermostat is faulty.

Do tumble dryers stop working in cold weather?

Most tumble dryer manufacturers recommend that tumble dryers should not be exposed to temperatures below 5 C (41 F). 

Should my dryer smell hot?

A tumble dryer in good working condition shouldn’t emit any strange smells. If you smell burning when you are using your tumble dryer, you should turn it off and unplug it immediately.

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