Is Your Gas Dryer Not Heating Up? This Could Be Why

Having your clothes take forever to dry is beyond frustrating. You throw in a load, excited to wear that favorite shirt or comfy jeans again. But when the cycle finishes, everything is still damp! Now you’re stuck deciding between smelly mildew batches or running yet another marathon drying session. Don’t let a lack of heat cut your quality drying time short.

If your gas dryer isn’t getting hot enough to dry properly, there are several common issues that could be to blame. With some basic troubleshooting, you can likely get your appliance heating up in no time. We’ll walk through the major reasons your gas dryer won’t heat, and how to diagnose and fix them yourself.

Check Your Gas Supply

Before you dive into replacing parts, first confirm that gas is actually making it to the dryer. There could be an obstruction in the gas supply preventing your dryer from firing up its burner.

Is the Gas Valve Turned On?

This may seem obvious, but double check that the shut-off valve on the gas line feeding the dryer is actually open. This valve is typically located behind the dryer or washing machine. Visually inspect the valve to make sure the handle is parallel with the pipe to allow gas to flow through.

Running the dryer with the gas shut off can actually be a fire hazard, so it’s an important initial check. If the valve is closed, slowly open it all the way and try re-starting the dryer to see if heat returns. Give it a few cycles as it may take some time to purge any accumulated air from the lines.

why is my gas dryer not getting hot

Is Gas Flow Obstructed?

Even if the shut-off valve is open, there could still be a partial blockage in the gas supply lines. Kinks, closed valves, or accumulated debris can all prevent sufficient gas pressure. Check the flexible gas line and connection points for any noticeable restrictions. Run your hands along the hose to feel for any unnatural crimps or bends.

You may be able to clear out small obstructions by disconnecting and blowing out the gas line. For major blockages or damage, the lines will need replacement. Hiring a technician is recommended for gas line repairs and installation. Improper connections can lead to dangerous gas leaks.

Clear Any Airflow Blockages

For the gas burner to properly heat, your dryer needs strong airflow. Lint buildup and clogging are common airflow impediments that can dramatically reduce your drying power.

Clean the Lint Trap

Your lint trap is the first line of defense against reduced airflow. This fine mesh screen catches all the lint and debris that come off your clothes. Over time, it can get completely clogged with lint restricting your dryer’s ventilation.

Open the lint trap door and pull out the filter. Remove any lint clumps with your fingers or a vacuum hose attachment. Then hold it up to the light to spot any remaining debris stuck in the mesh screen. Run water over the screen to clear any stubborn particles.

Get in the habit of cleaning the lint trap before every load to prevent major buildup. If you notice drying times creeping up, that’s a sign it’s time to give the trap extra attention.

Clear Clogged Vents

Lint can also accumulate in the ventilation ductwork leading outside. Those long drying times indicate it might be time to clear out your vents. Detach the ductwork from the dryer and use a vacuum hose to suck out any compacted lint.

For extreme blockages, you may need professional duct cleaning. Companies use high-pressure air and special brushes to remove stuck-on debris. Regular vent cleaning every 2 years can improve efficiency and prevent fires.

Replace Airflow Sensors

Some dryers have airflow sensor bars that detect blockages. If clogged vents trigger the sensor, it will shut off the heating element. Unplug the dryer and inspect the sensor bars for any buildup or damage. Use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove any lint restricting airflow.

If the sensors are malfunctioning, you will need to order a replacement part. Follow your model’s specific instructions for properly installing new airflow sensor bars.

Diagnose Heating System Issues

Once you’ve confirmed the gas supply and airflow are good, next investigate the internal heating components. Failure of any of these parts could explain why your dryer isn’t getting hot.

Faulty Thermal Fuse

Your dryer has a thermal fuse that acts as a safety mechanism to prevent fires. If the dryer overheats, this fuse will blow and cut power to the heating element. No heat could indicate the thermal fuse sacrificed itself due to a clog or other issue.

The fuse is normally located on the heating element housing or blower wheel assembly. Check for continuity across the fuse terminals with a multimeter. No continuity means it’s blown. Order a replacement fuse with the same amp rating and install it following your model’s instructions.

Heating Element Not Working

The heating element uses gas combustion to create heat. Like a lightbulb, heating elements can simply burn out over time. Or cycled on/off operation as the thermostat kicks in can lead to stress failures. Test your element for continuity to confirm if it’s broken.

First, unplug the dryer. Remove the element housing cover and check for visual damage. Then use a multimeter to check continuity across the heating element terminals. No continuity means it’s fried and needs replacement. Install the new element securely, taking care not to damage the fragile coils.

Thermostat Problems

Your dryer thermostat regulates the air temperature by cycling the heat on and off. If the thermostat malfunctions, it may no longer trigger heating at the proper temperature. Test it by initiating a high heat drying cycle then use an infrared thermometer gun to measure vent output temperature.

If the vent air isn’t getting hot enough, the thermostat likely isn’t working right. Unplug the unit then check thermostat continuity using a multimeter. Replace your thermostat if it’s defective – just match the part number to your specific model.

Prevent Future Heating Problems

Once you’ve solved your dryer’s heating issues, keep up proper maintenance to avoid a repeat performance. Here are some handy tips to keep your appliance running hot for years to come.

  • Clean the lint trap before every load – this simple step prevents major lint buildup.
  • Scrub the lint trap with soap and water monthly to remove residues.
  • Use a vent brush attachment and vacuum hose to periodically clean out the vent hose.
  • Have a professional vent cleaning done every 2 years.
  • Call a technician for any gas line repairs or replacements.
  • Replace heating element and thermostat as needed when they fail.

Troubleshooting why your gas dryer isn’t getting your clothes fully dry doesn’t need to be a headache. Start by inspecting your gas valves and lines for any flow restrictions. Make sure to clear any lint blocking your lint trap, vents or sensors. If you’ve checked airflow, take a look at the heating system components. The thermal fuse, heating element or thermostat could need replacement.

You can get your gas dryer’s heat back on track with some testing. Just take care when dealing with gas appliances as improper repairs can lead to dangerous leaks and combustion issues. If you’ve checked everything but the dryer still won’t heat up, don’t hesitate to call in a professional service technician.

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