Reasons Why Your Dryer Takes Too Long

Posted On January 4, 2021

Is your dryer taking too long to dry? There could be many different reasons for this but the main concern is ending up with a buildup of wet clothes. To fix this look at the issues. You could have a dryer malfunction, but following a few simple tips can usually solve the problem and improve drying speed. When a dryer takes too long usually it has something to do with the parts but sometimes there can be other factors at play like user habits. Here is a list of all possible reasons why your dryer takes too long to dry.

Power Issue

One of the most common issues, when your dryer doesn’t work properly, has to do with the power source. The main difference between a gas and electric dryer is the power required after all. If you don’t have it connected to a 240V outlet it won’t work efficiently. A standard 120V outlet delivers less electricity, creating drying times that can be 3x longer. So make sure if it’s an electric dryer it is properly plugged into a 240v outlet. Also, avoid using an extension cord to power a gas or electric dryer. 

Too Many Items

Overloading is a common reason clothes take 2 cycles to dry. Overloading leaves no room for the dryer’s hot air to properly circulate and limits tumbling. Check your use and care manual to determine the exact capacity for your model dryer. In most cases it is recommended to fill it only 3/4th of the way, with one wash load at a time, to allow for proper air circulation.

Clothes Are Too Wet

Sometimes a washer issue is to blame when your dryer takes too long to dry. 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. Using the correct setting is important but even after using it if your clothes are wet, there is a problem. You may have a washer malfunction. 

Lint Filter

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.

Dryer Vents

Clogged dryer vents can also restrict airflow in the dryer and lengthen drying times, not to mention cause dangerous dryer fires. The main reason clogs appear is if the lint screen isn’t cleaned regularly or if you don’t clean out your dryer vent annually. You will know when your dryer needs its vents clean when it takes forever to dry your clothes. You can clean it yourself by following these steps:

  1. Disconnect vent hose from the dryer
  2. With a narrow hose vacuum attachment, vacuum out the vent hose from both ends, including outside.
  3. Remove the exterior exhaust hood and vacuum lint and debris from the hood entrance
  4. Replace the exhaust hood and reconnect the vent hose to the dryer

Blower Wheel

The blower wheel is used to move the air around in the dryer. It goes from the heating chamber to the drum and then it exits out through the exhaust vent. If it is not blowing air efficiently, then the high limit of the thermostat may detect excessive heat and shut it off. 

Normally, you can find the blower wheel would be either threaded or clamped to the end of the motor shaft. You have to make sure that it hasn’t gotten loose. A loose blower wheel will start to make a rattling sound when you start the dryer. Check the blower wheel to see if any debris is caught in it interfering with the movement. Check for any wear and tear at the hub of the wheel and at the junction to the shaft. You will need to replace the blower wheel if you find any.


This is only in the case of gas dryers. Since they have a set of safety coils that are in place. When these begin to malfunction, they can stop operating partway through the dryer cycle, leaving the dryer cold. If your dryer only heats for the first portion of the cycle, one or more of the coils may be at fault. These can be difficult to check because once they cool down they may start acting normal again.

Felt Drum Seal

A torn drum seal could be another reason why the clothes are taking too long to dry. These seals are there to keep cool air from coming into the drum. But if the felt-type material of the seal gets holes in it from age and use, cool air comes in and will slow down the drying process. A sure sign of problems with the felt drum seal comes when clothes get stuck in the holes while the drum turns, making noises that sound like thumps and scrapes. Sometimes the clothes will rip or have black marks when you take them out.

Door Seal

A door seal is what keeps the air temperature inside the device just like in a refrigerator. If the door seal is damaged all the air leaks out. In this case, your clothes would not dry fast. If your clothes are taking too long to dry, you could have a cracked, inflexible, or worn-out door seal that lets in cool air. It is not a complicated part to replace if it’s damaged.