What to Do if Your Dryer is Too Hot

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The dryer is one of the hottest appliances in your home. But most of that heat is shielded and contained inside the dryer drum. This is ideal except when the heat is too much. Because dryers create heat, they can also fail in dangerous ways relating to heat. You may have noticed that your dryer is extremely hot to the touch, or that clothes have a scorchy smell or even a few melted delicate fabrics.

Whatever the sign, a dryer that is too hot may not be safe in the home. Sometimes, the fix is quick and easy. Sometimes it requires taking the dryer apart and replacing specific burnt-out parts. Today, we’re here to save you some time with a quick troubleshooting guide for a dryer that’s too hot. 

Check the Settings

Start by trying different settings for dryer cycles. This can tell you when and possibly how the heat problem is occurring. For example, it might be that high-heat is too high, or that medium-heat is tweaked up. Changing the settings may reveal the heat to be mechanical instead of a problem with the element, or the heat might only occur when certain features are engaged.

Clear the Lint Trap and Housing

The next step to try is clearing the lint trap. Lint can build up inside your dryer, both acting as insulation and blocking vents. This can trap dryer heat instead of letting it flow safely out of the house. Pull your lint screen and clear it. Then set the screen aside. Check your lint housing – where the screen came from – in case there is lint building up inside the machine. You can use a long, thin duster or build your own with a coat hanger to clean his unusually shaped duct.

Test Your Ability to Change Setting

You may have noticed that some symptoms remained consistent when adjusting the settings. In some cases, the problem is persistent no matter what cycle you run. In others, the problem will lock your dryer into performing with a specific setting. Determine if you are able to change the dryer from the failure setting creating the excess heat.

Clear the Exhaust Vent and Hose Duct

Behind the dryer, check the lint escape route, also known as the exhaust vent and duct. Find the silver tube leading from the back of the dryer to the wall. This is the exhaust path for hot air and lint. Too much lint in the channel can block the hot air, causing it to build up inside the dryer and creates excess heat. Remove the hose duct and clear the vents on both ends. Clear or replace the length of the duct, itself.

Find and Clear the Outdoor Dryer Vent

The exhaust also needs to escape your house, which means there’s a vent on the outside, somewhere. Find your laundry exhaust vent outdoors and make sure it is not blocked by tall grasses, piled dirt, or animals nesting in the warm breeze.

Open the Dryer to Test Electrical Components

If none of the previous steps fixed your too-hot dryer, it’s time to look inside the appliance. You will want to remove the panels and test the controls, elements, and temperature sensor/controllers inside with a multi-meter, then replace the faulty component. This is further than most homeowners are comfortable diving into their home appliances, which is where we come in. As technicians, we can provide inspection, advice, or hand-on services to get your dryer back to safe working order. 

Have a dryer that’s too hot or other appliance repair concerns? If you would like advice or technician repair services, contact us today!

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