Are you wondering, “Why does my dryer take so long to dry clothes?” You could have a dryer malfunction, but following a few simple tips can usually solve the problem and improve drying speed. We’ll discuss some common reasons why your dryer takes forever to dry such as incoming power problems and incorrect washer settings.
Dryer Takes Forever to Dry? This Could Be Why
Yes, faulty parts and breakdowns can explain why you have a dryer taking multiple cycles to dry. But when a dryer takes too long to dry, there may be other factors at play, including user habits. Here are six reasons why a dryer takes forever to dry and how some simple fixes can solve the problem.
#1 – Problem With Incoming Power
When your dryer doesn’t dry clothes sufficiently check your power source. An important distinction between gas vs electric dryers is that an electric dryer requires a 240V outlet to provide adequate power. A standard 120V outlet delivers less electricity, creating drying times that can be 3x longer.
In addition, refrain from using an extension cord to power your dryer. A standard extension cord can’t safely support the amount of power a dryer requires.
#2 – Dryer is Overloaded
When a dryer is filled to the top it’s considered overloaded. Overloading leaves no room for the dryer’s hot air to properly circulate and limits tumbling. When this happens you’ll find that your dryer takes two cycles to dry a large load.
As a general rule, only fill your dryer 2/3 of the way full to allow for hot air to circulate. Refer to your use and care manual for the specific load recommendations for your model dryer.
#3 – Washer Leaves Clothes Too Wet
When you find your washer leaving clothes damp the washer could be responsible. Selecting a wash setting without a spin cycle or an insufficient spin cycle leaves clothes too wet when they enter the dryer. Consequently, a standard drying cycle isn’t enough to dry these items. It’s also possible that a washer malfunction is leaving clothes too wet after a wash.
Before you begin a wash cycle check your settings to make sure they include a sufficient spin cycle. If clothes remain too wet after washing your washer may require professional service.
#4 – Dryer Lint Screen Needs Cleaning
Our clothes shed tiny pieces of fabric fiber with each drying cycle. The dryer’s hot air blows these fibers around and into the lint screen. When the screen is full of lint it can prevent the proper circulation of hot air, leading to longer drying times.
To maximize airflow clean your lint screen after each drying cycle. Simply pull out the screen, remove the lint with your hand or a paper towel and replace it.
#5 – Clogged Dryer Vents
Lint in debris buildup inside exhaust vents is a common cause of a dryer taking too long to dry. Clogged dryer vents can also restrict airflow in the dryer and lengthen drying times, not to mention cause dangerous dryer fires. These clogs can occur if the lint screen isn’t cleaned regularly or if you don’t clean out your dryer vent pipes annually.
If your dryer takes forever to dry and the vent needs cleaning, follow these steps and dryer fire prevention tips:
- Disconnect vent hose from dryer
- With a narrow hose vacuum attachment, vacuum out the vent hose from both ends, including outside.
- Remove the exterior exhaust hood and vacuum lint and debris from the hood entrance
- Replace the exhaust hood and reconnect vent hose to dryer
When cleaning the vent hose make sure it’s free from pinches or other damage. If the vent hose is pinched or crushed it could also restrict airflow and lengthen drying times.
#6 – Part Malfunction
If these interventions still leave you plagued by long drying times then it’s possible that a dryer component may have malfunctioned. In electric dryers a likely possibility is a broken heating element. Gas valve solenoids in gas-fueled dryers can also malfunction, failing to open the valve that allows gas to flow to the dryer’s burner.
In both of these cases, these components can’t be repaired and can best be replaced by a professional service.
When your dryer takes forever to dry or another dryer malfunction makes laundry day longer, call Solar Appliance Service for the utmost in quality dryer repair service.