Why Your Dryer Takes Too Long & How You Can Fix It

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Everyone loves the convenience of home laundry appliances, but if your dryer takes too long, it can get on your nerves quickly. Why is your dryer not drying clothes completely and forcing you to run several cycles to get the job done?

Find out now and save time and money on energy costs by running your dryer less often.

Why Your Dryer Takes Too Long

You’re not the only one who’s dryer takes too long, and there are only a handful of parts that can be the source of the problem:

#1 – Dryer Vent Clogged

What it is: While it may not technically be a part of your dryer, the venting system that comes out the back of the unit needs to be unrestricted. Efficient airflow is the key to dryer performance and preventing fires.

How it fails: Every item you wash leaves lint and debris behind in your dryer. The lint screen does a good job of catching it, but some will find its way into the exhaust vent. This can build up over time and lead to a dangerous clog.

How to diagnose it: Remove the dryer vent from the unit and inspect the inside of the entire exhaust system. Clear out any lint or debris you find. For the best results, we recommend you hire a dryer vent cleaning professional to clean your dryer vents once or twice per year.

dryer takes too long
Image from Bob Villa

#2 – Dirty Lint Filter

What it is: A lint screen is built into every home dryer, and it catches excess fluff and debris to keep it out of the venting system.

How it fails: This part rarely breaks unless you fail to clean it regularly. Just pull out the screen after every load or two and wipe away the trapped lint.

How to diagnose it: All it takes is a quick visual inspection to know if you need to clean off your filter. Check it often, wipe away whatever lint you find, and reinstall for faster drying.

dryer takes multiple cycles to dry
Image from Safe Bee

#3 – Heating Element Burned Out

What it is: Electric dryers use heating elements to generate the temperatures needed for drying. Much like an electric oven, the element glows red and produces radiant heat when powered on.

How it fails: Dryer elements typically burn out when they’re overworked. Clogged vents can force an element to overheat and eventually fail.

How to diagnose it: Unplug the power to your dryer and remove the element. Use a multimeter to test the part for continuity, and replace it if necessary.

dryer not drying clothes completely
Image from Sears Parts Direct

#4 – Defective Blower Wheel

What it is: Air gets drawn into your dryer drum thanks to a blower wheel connected to the drive motor. It’s what helps suck the air into the dryer that will then be heated by the element.

How it fails: Most of the time, blower wheels get clogged or jammed up by debris like clumps of lint, loose socks, washcloths, and more. The wheel itself can also wear out, warp, or break, leading to longer drying times.

How to diagnose it: Visually inspect the blower wheel and remove any obstructions you find. Spin the wheel with your hand, and if it feels loose or wobbly, replace the part.


dryer taking too long to dry
Image from Sears Parts Direct


If your dryer takes too long even after checking these parts, call the repair professionals at Service Care right away. We can help with everything from dryer vent cleaning to full repair service, and beyond!



Toxey McDavid

Owner, Service Care

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