How to Troubleshoot a Dryer That Spins but Has No Heat

Clothes dryers are a common convenience in many homes that allow users to dry clothes and other wet items in a short period of time. Many modern dryers also offer features such as wrinkle protection, steam cycles and time, fabric and temperature sensors that tailor the drying cycle to the items in the load of laundry. However, occasionally dryers will spin but do not heat. This problem may be resolved by troubleshooting the dryer before you call in a professional for help.

Look inside the dryer for obvious reasons why the heat is obstructed.
  1. Verify that the clothes dryer is firmly connected to a functioning power supply. The power cord should be plugged completely into the dryer as well as the power outlet. Avoid using extension cords.
  2. Remove items from the dryer if the drum is overloaded. Too many items in the dryer will inhibit proper heat transmission and may block the heat from entering the unit entirely.
  3. Open the dryer door and pull out the lint screen. Clean away lint or other debris on the lint screen and replace the screen in the dryer. Examine the dryer interior for any objects that may be blocking the vents or preventing proper heat transmission and remove as necessary.
  4. Reselect a new drying cycle, particularly if "Fluff," "Delicate," "No Air" or "Low Air" options were previously selected. Such cycles don't provide heat during tumbling.
  5. Operate the dryer in a room that is not exposed to outside air or during freezing temperatures. Using the dryer when the outside temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit will prevent proper heating.
  6. Start the dryer and allow it to run for several minutes. While it is running, hold a palm underneath the outside exhaust vent. Air should be moving from the vent. If this is not the case, turn off and unplug the dryer. Take apart the exhaust vent and clean out dirt, debris and any other blockages. Straighten the exhaust vent and reconnect prior to restoring power to the dryer.
  7. Contact an authorized service technician for additional assistance if necessary.

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.

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