The laundry room is a place of daily care and effort, and after years of use, problems with laundry appliances can begin to eat up increasing amounts of chore time. Long periods of swirling heat and tumbling cycles can make the dryer prone to disrepair, and without proper maintenance, it has the potential to burn up and damage your home. 

Many people are left with no other option than to repair or replace their dryer. The idea of fixing it yourself can be tempting, but in order to keep your dryer in check, you need to understand what has gone wrong. Read more about three of the most common dryer problems and how to troubleshoot them.

1. Dealing with a Noisy Dryer

technician fixing inside of washing machineOne of the most aggravating issues that homeowners encounter with their dryers is noise. With enough use, your dryer may begin to crank up the decibels for a few reasons, making your laundry experience more taxing. Cut down on frustration by checking out these common ways to fix a noisy dryer.

  • A clogged blower wheel is commonly the culprit behind a noisy dryer. Check your lint filter. If the filter is clogged, then lint may be hindering your blower wheel, so cleaning it out could solve the noise issue. If it is not clogged, your blower wheel may simply be worn out, and replacing the wheel may bring the noise level back down to normal.
  • There are a few different scenarios in which the drum could be causing your problems. Worn-out bearings or a damaged drum belt may jostle the interior walls of the dryer, causing your drum to sway or make squealing or scraping sounds. Try replacing the bearings or drum belt to fix your noise issue.
  • Keep in mind that each sound you hear can be a sign of a different issue. A scraping metallic sound is often a sign of worn bearings that cause the drum to strike the interior walls of the dryer. However, a worn or damaged dryer belt usually creates a squeaking sound.

In the end, try to pinpoint the source of the noise you’re hearing before you begin replacing parts. The sound may give away exactly what the problem is.

2. Fixing a Slow and Ineffective Dry Cycle

A more subtle defect in your dryer involves the drying cycle itself. After a few years of use, your dryer may begin taking longer to finish drying a load of clothes, and the clothes may come out of the dryer damp and cold. 

This defect usually worsens incrementally rather than immediately, but if your dryer keeps taking longer and longer to dry clothes, it can completely dismantle laundry day. You can circumvent these potential problems by determining their most common causes.

  • Again, the first place to check is your lint filter. A clogged lint filter will block your outer vent and hinder your dryer’s ability to, well, dry, so make sure that the outer vent is not blocked before inspecting more complex parts. Keeping your filter clean is the easiest way to decrease drying time and increase your dryer’s effectiveness.
  • If the lint filter is functioning normally, then the heating element is likely to blame for your dryer’s issues. The heating element is a coil that can be tested for continuity with a volt/ohm meter. If you do not find any continuity in your heating element, it will need to be replaced before your dryer can function normally again.

Damp clothes and lengthy dry cycles are often symptoms of cramped lint filters, stopped-up vents, or faulty heating coils. Check out your parts to save yourself time in laundry days to come.

3. Understanding Your Overheating Machine

man leaning into dryer, while holding a monkey wrenchPerhaps the most dangerous of the common defects, an overheated machine can cause serious damage to your home. That being said, it may be the easiest to prevent. Here are some ways to avoid the dangers of an overheating dryer.

  • Normally, the cause of heating issues is a lack of airflow. As always, inspect your lint filter and dryer vent to make sure that neither are obstructed. If both are fine, then you may have a more difficult issue on your hands.
  • A faulty blower wheel can circumvent the dryer’s airflow from the inside, allowing excess heat to build up. Look for foreign particles in your blower wheel, such as lint, and remove them to prevent your blower wheel from causing the dryer to overheat.
  • If the more commonly faulty parts of the dryer have only lead to dead ends, then take a look at your felt seal—it is unusual for the seal to be causing your problems, but is still worth investigating. The seal lines the interior drum and restricts the flow of heat, so if the seal appears damaged, replacing it may cool down your dry cycle.

Dryers are prone to disrepair, as are all common household appliances. Overheating, long dry cycles, damp clothes, and noisy functions are all common faults to look out for.

Keep your dryer in top condition with our tips on understanding and dealing with the most common dryer problems—don’t repair or replace your dryer without being informed.