A dryer that gets too hot can be a serious issue. Besides ruining delicate clothes with scorch marks, it could lead to a fire.
How Do You Know if the Dryer is Too Hot? The tell-tale sign that your dryer is too hot is damage to your clothes. If you pull your clothes out of the dryer and notice that there are burn marks on them, your dryer is running far too hot. If your dryer is hot to the touch, that may be another sign of too much heat.
When too much heat builds up in your dryer, lint or debris in the dryer vent line can ignite, resulting in a dryer fire. The overheat shutoff is the dryer's last attempt to prevent a fire.
If your dryer is hot to the touch, it means heat isn't being exhausted out of the dryer properly due to a blockage.
More than likely your dryer is not venting to the outside of the house. The vent ducting is probably clogged causing the air to back up into the room or a joint has come loose.
A second warning sign that dryer vents may need attention is the fact that the clothing and the outside of the dryer are both very hot. A dryer with properly functioning vents will not get hot to the touch during a normal cycle. Clothing will be warm, but fluffy and dry at the end of the cycle as well.
Fires can occur when lint builds up in the dryer or in the exhaust duct. Lint can block the flow of air, cause excessive heat build-up, and result in a fire in some dryers.
However, if you start to notice some unusual sounds coming from the dryer, it could be an indication that something is wrong. If you start to hear thumping, squealing, squeaking, or humming, these are not normal sounds for a dryer to make and they mean that the dryer needs to be looked at.
Overstuffing the dryer can make it less likely for all the clothing to dry in one cycle, and cause extra wear and tear to the machine. But worse than that, if the heat sensor can't tell if the clothing in the middle is dry, it may keep increasing the heat—which could easily lead to a dryer fire.
Residential dryers operate in a range of 125 to 135°F (52 to 57°C). While it could be tricky to tell if your dryer is too hot to touch, there are three signs you could look out for: a burning smell coming from your dryer, scorch marks on your clothes, or your dryer shutting off during its cycle.
The hi-limit thermostat will cycle the dryer's burner or heater off if the ducting has become clogged blocking proper airflow. Symptoms are usually a very short heating cycle with a low drum temperature, or no heat at all.
Additionally, you may notice a burning smell, or notice that your clothes and the outside of the dryer are too hot. If you notice any of these symptoms, or suspect that the airflow may be obstructed, stop the dryer immediately, unplug it, and check the duct and vent when they have had a chance to cool.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that dryers and washing machines cause an average of 15,970 fires each year, with dryers causing 92% of them and an average of $200 million in property damage.
Culprit #1: Lint.
Lint is the leading cause of dryer fires. It's highly flammable, and it's everywhere. Lint naturally accumulates in your dryer and dryer exhaust system. This buildup makes the dryer work harder for each load and the lint can work its way into the heating element, which is bad news.
The average life expectancy of a dryer is around 10-13 years. And no matter how great your clothes dryer is, all appliances will wear down eventually.
If you haven't cleaned your dryer vent in a while there are some tell-tale signs to look for that will let you know you should check it out: Your dryer takes much longer than a typical 45-minute cycle to dry. Clothes come out of the dryer damp. Your dryer feels very hot to the touch while running.
If you use your dryer for too long, or if you leave the door open while drying clothes, then you could end up with a fire. Electric dryers catch fire often because they are designed to heat up quickly, so they overheat easily. They also have a fan that sometimes can blow hot air into the room.
But even with these preventative steps you should clean your dryer vents at least once every 12 months to remove the lint and debris and prevent clogs! If you don't want to do it yourself - hire a Dustless Duct professionals to take care of dryer vent cleaning.
The most common cause of a burning smell coming from your dryer is when the lint filter gets clogged. This not only causes a burning smell, but it's also extremely dangerous, as it can start a fire. Most manufacturers recommend that you clean the filter out after every use to avoid this from happening.
Maximum exhaust temperature of the dryer will not exceed 200°F (93.3°C) when the dryer is operated according to the instructions provided with the dryer.
The maximum developed length of a clothes dryer exhaust duct shall not exceed 35 feet from the dryer location to the wall or roof termination. The maximum length of the duct shall be reduced 2.5 feet for each 45-degree (0.8 rad) bend, and 5 feet for each 90-degree (1.6 rad) bend.
It is not advisable to vent a dryer through the roof. This is one of the most common mistakes we see from people who are not experienced with air ducts. Dryer vent specialists will tell you that a vertical approach to installing a dryer vent is inefficient and creates a fire risk for a home if it goes unchecked.
Play it safe and split a larger load into two smaller loads. Keep the area around your dryer clean. Sweep any dirt or lint from under and around your dryer and avoid placing anything on top of it, including clothing, cleaning supplies, and garbage. Watch for warning signs.