Why Is My Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up?

Use our troubleshooting guide to find out why your tumble dryer has stopped heating up.
Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
Why Is My Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

A tumble dryer that’s not heating up is a fairly common problem, and simple things often cause it. Depending on your machine, it may even tell you what’s wrong with it in the form of an error code. However, these error codes may not always outline the main cause, and most machines won’t have a display to show the error code in the first place.

Therefore, it’s up to you to check the machine over to see why it isn’t heating up. To do so, below are four of the most common reasons why a tumble dryer may not be heating up with potential solutions.

Why Is My Tumble Dryer Not Heating Up?

1. Heater Has Tripped

The most common reason a tumble dryer is not heating up is that the heater fuse has tripped. This can be due to a malfunctioning heater/heating element or an overheated one.

To test whether it’s the heater fuse that’s causing your tumble dryer to not heat up, you can simply reset it at the back of the machine. Depending on your tumble dryer, the reset button may be a simple red button, or it may be under the casing (as shown in the image). If the reset button is behind the casing, you’ll need to unscrew the multiple screws holding it in place to gain access to it.

why does my tumble dryer not heat up

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

After resetting the heater, test the tumble dryer to see if it trips out again. If it does trip out, you may need to replace the heater or check the other symptoms below.

2. Door & Lint Filter Are Blocked

The door and lint filter are important in any tumble dryer because they ensure that air can flow through the machine and run efficiently.

However, if either of these filters is blocked, they can restrict the air flow and cause the tumble dryer to overheat. If the machine does overheat, it’ll trip the heater fuse, and the tumble dryer won’t heat up.

tumble dryer not heating

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you clean the lint filter after every other cycle and check the door filter at least once a month. These filters have been designed to be easy to clean, and it should take just a couple of minutes to clean out. As you can see in the photo, the lint filter box simply pulls out at the front for easy cleaning.

3. Exhaust Vent Is Blocked

For a tumble dryer to get rid of excess heat, lint and other debris, the exhaust vent must be clear and fully functioning.

If the vent is blocked, this can cause the machine to overheat and eventually trip the heater fuse. Even the best tumble dryers can become blocked, and it’s worth checking the vent at least once a month.

As well as keeping it clear, the exhaust vent should also be kink-free to prevent any restrictions on the exit path.

tumble dryer not heating up

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Symptoms of an exhaust vent that’s clogged can include excess humidity in the room due to the fact that the hot air and moisture aren’t being vented out. You may also notice that your clothes have excess lint, but this can also be a sign that the lint filter is full. To check the exhaust vent, unclip it at the back of the machine and check to see if it’s clear all the way through and that it’s connected to the exit correctly (as shown in the photo).

4. The Thermostat Is Malfunctioning

A cause of a tumble dryer not heating up that may require a number of steps to fix is a malfunctioning thermostat. There are two thermostats (one is a standard thermostat, and the other is a safety thermostat), and they are usually located at the back of the machine near the heater element. As mentioned above, these thermostats may be hidden by casing, and it’ll require multiple screws to be removed in order to gain access to what’s behind the casing (thermostats and heater).

Once you can see the two thermostats, you’ll need to remove the wires that are connected to them and then unscrew the thermostats from the machine. You can then simply replace the old thermostats with the new replacements. The thermostats themselves are relatively cheap to purchase, and they are certainly worth changing if the machine is old.


Unless your machine is fairly old or has seen heavy usage over the last few years, it should work trouble-free. However, problems such as a tumble dryer not heating up can become more frequent if you avoid regular machine maintenance.

For example, cleaning the filters and checking the exhaust vent takes just a few minutes to do, but so many people forget about it, and eventually, this can lead to various problems and the tumble dryer not being as efficient.

If you’ve tried our recommended steps above but still have a tumble dryer that’s not heating up, feel free to get in touch, and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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