My Whirlpool Duet Dryer Won't Heat

Tanya Lee

Whirlpool Duet washers and dryers have good performance and reliability, but as with any appliance, sometimes things go wrong. A dryer full of clothes that are not dry after an hour or so is one of those things. No drying, or poor drying, can have several causes, many of which are quite simple to fix.

Before you call for repair service, try some potentially money-saving troubleshooting tips.


Prevent lint from building in the exhaust vent by cleaning the lint screen every time you use the dryer.

  1. Find out if a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has been tripped. The fuse box and circuit breaker box for a residence is usually in the basement or a utility room. If a fuse is blown, the metal bar across the face of the fuse will be burned out. If a circuit has been tripped, it will be facing in the opposite direction from all the other circuit breakers in the box. Replace the fuse or reset the circuit breaker if necessary. If the fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips again, consider calling an electrician to check for a wiring problem. Note that the drum of the dryer may be turning but you may still have no heat if a fuse has blown or a circuit breaker has been tripped. These dryers use two fuses or circuit breakers.

  2. Look at the Air Dry temperature setting on the front of the dryer to make sure it is set to the correct position. It must be on a setting that requires the dryer to heat. If it is on an air-fluff or cool-down setting, the dryer will not heat.

  3. Check the dryer's exhaust vent to make sure that air is passing through it freely. The vent is an 8-inch piece of round duct work that extends from the side or back of the dryer to the outdoors. Generally, you cannot see the entire length of the exhaust vent because it has to go through the wall. Check the exhaust vent by going outdoors and finding the place where the vent exits the building. Carefully hold your hand under or in front of the vent to find out if air is flowing from it. If not, or if there seems to be only a weak stream of air, the exhaust vent could be blocked, either with lint or something like a bird or squirrel's nest, or because it is kinked. This is a serious fire and/or asphyxiation hazard that must be corrected before you next operate the dryer. If you suspect the problem is lint, you can try to clear it yourself by releasing the band clamp that holds the duct work to the dryer (use a screwdriver) and vacuuming out the lint with a vacuum cleaner or shop vac. (Reclamp the exhaust vent to the dryer and repeat the test to find out if air is coming through.) Usually, however, you will need to call a professional to clean the duct work.