Why Is My Dryer Taking So Long?

If your dryer has been taking longer than normal to get your clothes dry, it may be a sign that there is a problem with your appliance.  Luckily, with the help of a few troubleshooting tips, you can usually get your dryer working efficiently again in no time.


The most common causes of a longer than normal dry time are:

  • Excessive Lint Buildup
  • Inefficient Dryer Venting
  • A Faulty Thermal Fuse or Heating Element

WARNING: Before attempting to work on any appliance, make sure that all power (electricity) and utilities (water and gas) have been turned off and/or disconnected on the appliance. Read more


Excessive Lint Buildup

This is by far the most common cause of this problem.  When lint builds up in your dryer, it limits the air flow through the appliance which in turn prevents the appliance from getting hot enough.  It also creates a potential fire hazard.

11186668_sTo avoid this problem, you should clean your lint screen or filter each time you use your dryer, whether you do this before or after each use is up to you.

If you notice any residue buildup on the filter or screen, remove it from the dryer and rinse it off with warm and soapy water.

In addition to cleaning the lint screen, you also need to clean the rest of your dryer seasonally.  Every few months, set aside some time to vacuum around the drum and inside the lint trap chute.  A crevice cleaning attachment can help make this job much easier.

Inefficient Venting

Another possible cause is kinked or clogged dryer venting.  If you currently have flexible venting for your dryer, consider switching it out with solid metal venting.  Flexible venting is more likely to kink or collapse, trapping lint.  Not only can this lead to longer dry time, but more serious issues such as heater failure.

Try to clean out your venting at least once a year using a Dryer Vent Duct Cleaning Brush and regularly check to ensure that your outside venting is not clogged with debris or being blocked.

Faulty Thermal Fuse or Heating Element

Oftentimes, a clogged dryer and a malfunctioning Thermal Fuse go hand in hand.  The Thermal Fuse is designed to act as a safety switch, disconnecting the flow of current in case of a malfunction that may lead to the appliance overheating or even a fire.  Once the part has been used/activated, it needs to be replaced.

Thermal Fuses

Thermal Fuses can come in a number of shapes and sizes, these are two examples

The Heating Element supplies the heat to the dryer.  When it is malfunctioning, it can lead to longer dry times or even leave your dryer completely unable to produce heat.  Much like a thermal fuse this part cannot be repaired, only replaced.


Whirlpool Dryer Heating Element – Contains coils that heat up as current runs through them, supplying heat to the dryer

You may be able to tell if either of these parts need to be replaced simply by looking at them and seeing signs such as broken coils or scorch marks.  But sometimes the damage won’t be quite so obvious.  To be sure that the parts are working properly, test them for continuity using your multimeter.  If you get a reading that does not match the manufacturer’s recommendation, the part needs to be replaced.  You can find both of these parts and many other Dryer Parts available on our website.

For help replacing the Thermal Fuse or Heating Element, check out these videos:




One thought on “Why Is My Dryer Taking So Long?

  1. Pingback: Why Is My Dryer Taking So Long? | Mike's Heating & Cooling

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