A clothes dryer is an essential appliance that makes laundry days easier and more convenient. However, when it emits a burning smell, it can cause panic and concern.
The burning smell from a dryer doesn’t only give out an unpleasant odor but could also indicate a more technical issue or even a potential fire hazard.
A dryer may emit a burning odor for various causes, ranging from simple concerns like lint accumulation to more significant technical difficulties like faulty heating elements.
Fortunately, several ways exist to address such issues and get your dryer functioning properly.
In this article, we’ll cover six easy ways to fix a dryer that gives off a burning smell so you can enjoy fresh, clean laundry without any worry or hassle.
Why Does Your Dryer Smell Like Burning?
If you have ever experienced a burning smell from your dryer, you must know how concerning that situation can be. The odor is not only unpleasant, but it may also indicate a potentially serious problem with the dryer.
Here are some of the leading causes of the burning smell from your dryer:
1. Lint Buildup
Lint buildup is the biggest culprit for burning smells in dryers.
A buildup of lint in a dryer can cause the dryer to overheat and emit a burning smell due to the blockage of the exhaust vent hose and heating element. This is a common cause of dryer fires and should be addressed immediately.
It is recommended that you properly clean the lint filter after every use to maintain its optimal condition.
Also, remember to periodically check the exhaust vent to ensure it is not blocked by lint.
2. Overheating Motor
The dryer motor can sometimes overheat when overused for an extended period or when there are technical problems with the drive motor.
When the dryer motor overheats, you may observe a burning smell coming from the dryer. If the dryer motor is faulty, you may notice that it is not operating as well as it used to or producing unusual noises while running.
If you suspect the dryer motor caused the issue, we recommend you call a professional to inspect and handle the repairs.
3. Worn Drum rollers
The drum rollers in a dryer support the drum as it rotates continuously.
Over time, these rollers can wear out or become damaged, causing the dryer drum to wobble or make loud noises.
If you hear a burning smell from your dryer, hear strange noises, or notice that the drum is wobbling, the drum rollers are likely the cause.
In this case, it is best to have a professional replace the rollers to avoid further damage.
4. Frayed Wiring
The wiring in your dryer is very crucial to the operation of the dryer.
Frayed wiring can cause a short circuit, leading to overheating in the dryer and a burning smell.
If you suspect the wiring is frayed or damaged, immediately call a professional to inspect the dryer and make the proper repairs to prevent further damage.
5. Clogged Air vent
The air vent in your dryer is the mechanism responsible for removing hot air and moisture from the dryer.
Over time, after using the dryer repeatedly, the air vent can become clogged with lint, dust, and other debris, preventing the hot air and moisture from escaping. This can cause overheating in the dryer and the emission of a burning smell.
If your dryer takes longer than usual to dry your clothes, or if you smell a burning stench coming from the dryer, examine the dryer air vent for blockages and completely clean them.
6. Faulty Heating Element
The heating element in the dryer is the material responsible for generating the heat required to dry your clothes.
If the heating element wears out or becomes faulty, it may cause overheating or underheating in the dryer.
Sometimes, the dryer may stop working or produce a burning smell. If you believe your dryer’s heating element is defective, have a professional evaluate it and make the required repairs.
You can also choose to replace the heating element to avoid further damage to the dryer. If a burning smell is observed from your dryer, immediately turn off the dryer and investigate the cause.
In most circumstances, you can determine the source of the burning smell and remedy it with a bit of debugging, but in others, you may need the help of a professional.
How to Fix a Dryer that Smells Like Burning?
If your dryer smells like burning, taking action quickly to avoid potential fire hazards is essential. Here are some easiest methods to fix a dryer with a burning smell:
1. Clean the Lint Trap
A clogged lint trap is one of the most common causes of a burning smell in dryers.
Lint and other debris can build up in the lint trap when you use the dryer to dry your clothing. If the lint trap becomes blocked, the dryer might overheat, resulting in a burning odor.
To resolve this issue, clear the lint trap after each load of washing. Remove the lint trap from the dryer casing and carefully clean any lint or debris gathered on it using your hands or a soft brush.
If the lint trap is clogged, thoroughly clean it with warm soapy water and let it dry completely before reinstalling it in the dryer.
It’s also essential to check and clean the exhaust vent if necessary. A clogged exhaust vent can prevent the hot air from escaping the dryer, causing it to overheat and emit a burning smell.
2. Check the Drum Support Rollers
Over time, the drum support rollers can wear out and cause the dryer to emit a burning smell.
These rollers support the drum and allow it to rotate smoothly. They can cause the drum to rub against the dryer frame, resulting in a burning scent if broken or worn out.
If you suspect that the drum support rollers cause the problem, unplug the dryer and remove the front panel to access the rollers. Examine the rollers for wear or damage, such as flat patches or cracks. If the rollers are worn out, you should replace them.
To change the rollers on your dishwasher, you must first remove the dryer belt from the drive motor and drum and then remove the rollers from the shaft. Install the new rollers by reversing the process, and ensure that the rollers are aligned correctly and that the belt is properly tensioned.
Checking and replacing the drum support rollers can help to eliminate the burning smell and prevent further damage to the dryer.
3. Inspect the Belt
The drive belt that turns the drum is essential to how the dryer works. It might cause the dryer to create a burning odor if it becomes worn or strained.
Unplug the dryer and remove the front panel to examine the drive belt. Scrutinize the belt for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or fraying.
If the belt is frayed or damaged, then you should move for a replacement. The replacement belt must be the proper size and type for your dryer model.
Before replacing the front panel, ensure the belt is aligned and appropriately tensioned. A loose or misaligned belt can cause the dryer to make a lot of noise or not work correctly.
4. Clean the Dryer Vent
When the dryer vent becomes blocked, it can cause overheating and release a burning odor. A thorough cleaning of the vent is required to resolve this issue.
Unplug the dryer and separate the vent from the rear of the machine to clean the dryer vents. Then, remove any lint or debris from the vent using a vent brush or vacuum cleaner.
It is essential that the dryer vent is completely free of any obstructions to allow a proper flow of air and moisture in the dryer. You may also inspect the outer vent to ensure it is not clogged with debris or impeded by other things.
In addition to preventing the dryer from emitting a burnt-like smell, cleaning the vent can also improve the dryer’s efficiency and reduce the risk of fire hazards. To preserve the dryer’s performance, it is advised that the dryer vent be appropriately cleaned at least once a year.
5. Check the Heating Element
The heating element in the dryer is one of the crucial internal components that enables it to heat up. If this component is damaged or defective, it can result in a dryer that smells burning.
The heating element can be located at the back of the dryer. Remove the back panel of the dryer to access the heating element. When inspecting the heating element, look for any visible signs of damage, such as breaks, burns, or corrosion.
If you observe any wear or damage on the heating element, the best option would be to replace the heating element with a new one. You can purchase a new heating element from a local appliance store or online retailer.
Before you begin the heating element replacement process, ensure that the dryer power cord is not plugged into a power source to avoid electrocution.
6. Call a professional
In some cases, the fixes illustrated above may provide a lasting solution to your problems but you may not be confident enough to carry out the repairs yourself. If you’re facing such situations, the best option is to call appliance repair experts for assistance.
A qualified technician can effectively diagnose and fix the problem quickly and safely. They also have access to the tools and equipment needed to repair your dryer efficiently.
Attempting to fix a dryer unit without proper knowledge and training can lead to further damage, and even worse, it can be hazardous to your health.
So, if you need clarification about what to do or believe you won’t be able to perform the repairs comfortably, it’s best to call dryer repair professionals. They can assist you in identifying and correcting the problem without endangering yourself or your dryer’s components.