Extended drying times could be a sign of a problem

If you notice that you have to run a dryer cycle more than once to get the clothes dry, you may have a problem on your hands. How big of a problem depends.

First though, before have us out for an unnecessary service call, check the setting: did you accidentally set the dryer temperature setting to LOW or FLUFF? No, not that? The most likely cause of your dryer taking too long to dry is clogged dryer vents.

No, not the lint trap —

dryer lint trap

— although, you should clean the lint trap every time you run a load in the dryer. No, the problem here lies with your dryer vent.

dryer vent Air passes through and is vented outside. Eventually lint builds up and the air flow is less efficient. Making matters worse, dryer sheets coat the inside of your vents with a film that causes that lint to stick to the inside of the vent, instead of passing through. Over time, lint builds up. Lint build up means air flows slower through the vent, means clothes take longer to dry.

Aside from the inconvenience of taking longer to dry (and the extra utility costs of running the dryer longer) clogged dryer vents pose a bigger, more dangerous threat: dryer fires are one of the leading causes of household fires.

Signs That Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning

clogged air vent

  • Your clothes take more than 1 cycle to completely dry.
  • You notice lint outside of your dryer, before you even open the dryer. This can be a sign of a clogged dryer vent, the lint you see is spill over.
  • You notice the dryer is hot to the touch. It makes sense: when the dryer vent gets clogged, the heat has no where to escape, causing the dryer to be less efficient and hot to the touch.
  • You notice a burning smell or odor coming from your dryer or vents. Call in a professional immediately.

If you notice any of these warning signs, call in a professional to assess the situation. If you can’t remember the last time you had your dryer vent cleaned, or it’s been over a year, it’s a good idea to get that done. Regular maintenance of your dryer will keep your dryer running optimally, prolonging the life of the appliance; will keep the dryer running more efficiently, saving you money on your electric bill; will minimize the risk to your home and family of a dryer fire. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Having dryer issues? Trust Appliance Doctor to diagnose your problem and get you set to rights as quickly as possible.

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