Your clothes dryer is designed to work within a standard set of parameters. The average clothes dryer should take about 45 minutes to dry a load of laundry. The clothing inside should not get hot enough to burn your skin, and you shouldn’t smell any odors that make you think there’s a fire. You shouldn’t really have any alarming thoughts regarding the dry cycle. Let’s look at a few ways you can troubleshoot your dryer if certain things happen.


The dryer can overheat for several reasons. An electric dryer heats an electrical coil to produce enough heated air to dry your clothing. A gas powered dryer uses a controlled flame to produce the same effect. The dryer should reach approximately 135 degrees, but no more. Here are a few reasons your dryer may overheat:

  • Lint Buildup – We easily see the lint that builds up in the screen inside the dryer. But we don’t always see the lint that builds up in the dryer hose or vent. Check the exterior vent to make sure it is blowing heated air and isn’t blocked by lint.
  • Blockages – The dryer vent is located on the exterior of your home near the laundry room. It’s warm and sheltered, and makes an excellent home for small animals. Make sure nothing is living in the dryer vent and that debris such as dust and leaves aren’t blocking it.
  • Defective Equipment – The heater coil may be overheating if you have an electric dryer. The thermal cutoff switch may be bad or some other defective part could be causing the overheating.

Not Producing Heat

The dryer can stop producing heat, which also leads to your clothing not being dried in a timely manner. If you’ve noticed that your clothes are cold and still wet, one of these things may be the problem:

  • Improper Voltage – The dryer won’t dry properly if it isn’t pulling enough electricity to properly function.
  • Heating Element – A defective heating element will usually cause the dryer to stop producing heat.
  • Thermal Fuse – A blown thermal fuse will keep the dryer from producing a sufficient amount of heat to dry clothing.
  • Thermostat – A defective thermostat will not allow the dryer to produce heat.

Taking a Long Time to Dry

All of the issues listed above can cause the dryer to take a long time to dry your clothing. The timer motor is another potential issue that may prevent proper drying times. A defective timer motor may cause the dryer to run longer than it should or cut off earlier than intended.

Dryer Hose and Vent Cleaning

Many homeowners don’t really think about the dryer vent and hose until they begin having problems; out of sight, out of mind, after all. We would like to remind you that you can rely on the services of Lou Curley’s Chimney Service for all of your chimney and dryer vent cleaning needs. We’re a locally owned and operated business in Drexel Hill, PA, and we provide chimney and dryer vent services throughout the surrounding area. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment with one of our C-DET certified technicians.