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How Long Does a Dryer Take? Is Mine Too Slow?

A clothes dryer is an appliance that any homeowner would hate to live without. But, despite being a high-use appliance, it is often neglected when it comes to maintenance. Until that day … Immersed in the latest TV binge, you suddenly realize you’re going to be late for work! You rush to the laundry room, whip open the dryer door, and discover that your work clothes are still damp after an hour-long drying cycle. “Just how long does a dryer take?” you ask yourself as you hurry to find a different outfit.

It's important to know about average dryer cycle times and common maintenance issues.

How Long Do Dryers Take?

Typically, a gas or electric dryer should take about 30 to 45 minutes to dry a full load of clothes. Dense fabrics—like a quilt or a load of thick bath towels—may take up to an hour to dry. If your dryer’s taking too long to dry your laundry, it’s important to figure out what’s wrong instead of ignoring it. Beyond the annoyance factor, a malfunctioning dryer can increase your energy costs or, far worse, cause a house fire.

Troubleshooting Tips for a Dryer Taking Too Long to Dry

Check for all the potential dryer problems described below. If you run into an issue you can’t resolve, you can rely on Mr. Appliance® to provide a clear diagnosis and effective appliance repair. Just call your local team or schedule an appointment with us online.

User Error. Common dryer usage mistakes include using the wrong heat and/or timer settings for the fabric type and overloading the dryer. Check manufacturer instructions for recommended drying times, load capacity, and heat settings. Clothes need room to tumble freely so that air circulates around them.

Lint Trap or Air Vent Issues. To work efficiently, dryers require good air flow and a clear exhaust path. If the venting hose is clogged with lint, cracked, or too long, the dryer may overheat. As a safety feature, most modern dryers are equipped with high temperature sensors that shut off the heat once the temperature reaches a certain point. While the drum may continue to tumble, clothes will take a long time to dry without heat. Cleaning the lint trap after every use can minimize lint buildup in the vent hose, but you’ll still need professional dryer vent cleaning at least once a year to prevent inefficient operation and the risk of fire. If you use your dryer every day, you may want to book this service up to four times a year. Our fellow Neighborly brand, Dryer Vent Wizard can help with that.

Broken Heating Element. A partially or fully burned-out heating element will significantly increase drying time or make it virtually impossible to fully dry clothes. Consult your dryer unit owner’s manual to see instructions for how to check the heating element and replace it if necessary. Or skip straight to booking an appliance repair with Mr. Appliance, and we’ll take care of it.

Impaired Thermostats or Sensors. Faulty thermostats or sensors are less likely culprits for your dryer that takes too long to dry. However, if one of these parts isn’t working properly, your dryer won’t maintain appropriate temperatures. Again, check manufacturer guidelines for assessing these parts on your dryer.

If you’re experiencing other dryer issues beyond long drying times, try using our interactive dryer troubleshooting tool.

Dryer Maintenance Is Essential

Dryers taking too long to dry are usually in need of a little TLC. Your dryer, like any appliance, requires regular maintenance to keep it running efficiently and safely. For example, try to clean and vacuum your dryer periodically and keep clutter off the top of it.

The most important part of caring for your dryer is getting professional dryer repair and dryer vent cleaning when needed. The experts at Mr. Appliance offer these services with flat-rate, up-front pricing and respectful customer service. Connect with your local team or schedule service online today.

Does your dryer cause a lot of static in your clothes? This advice from Mr. Electric® shows you how to easily get rid of static electricity. Mr. Electric is another fellow brand in the Neighborly® family of home service pros.

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