Question: What could be causing my clothing dryer to make a smell like something is burning? The lint filter has been cleaned out and the dryer is fairly new. The burn smell starts about 1 or 2 minutes after the dryer is tumbling on the high or low heat setting. I have tried running the dryer with clothes and without clothes and no matter what it makes the burning smell! If I run the dryer on Tumble Dry the smell seems to go away. Any other heat setting I use causes the burning smell. Can you please advise on how to troubleshoot and repair this myself?
Answer: First, Stop using your dryer until this problem is resolved. This is a fire hazard and could cause a fire.
Your issue is more than likely a lint build up problem. The lint that comes off of your clothes as you dry them becomes trapped in the dryer itself and in the venting duct that connects from the back of the dryer to the wall.
The first thing to do is to disconnect power by unplugging the dryer cord from the wall. Slide the dryer away from the wall slowly. Remove the hose duct that attaches to the back of the dryer. Look inside the hose duct and if you see heavy lint build up, that is most likely your problem. If you have a shop vac vacuum or similar, use the long wand attachment to vacuum out the lint that is in the duct. The best way to do this is to completely remove the vent duct from the wall and dryer. Vacuum the inside of the duct to clean it out. Also vacuum in the vent hole in the wall where the duct attaches to the wall and remove any lint that may be blocking air flow. Put everything back together and test your dryer to see if the burning smell has been resolved.
NOTE: There may be heavy build up of lint deep in the wall. You can purchase a Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit that may make your job of cleaning the vent much easier. However, it may be best to call a Dryer Vent Cleaning Company as they have the equipment that is needed to remove all lint in the wall that could cause a fire. We know everyone wants to save money and “do it yourself” but when it comes to safety, money should not be an issue.
If the burning smell is still present, you can take the dryer apart and try vacuuming out any lint that may be built up on the inside of the dryer. Do a search for your dryer model name and number on Google to see how your particular dryer model is disassembled. If you are not comfortable taking your dryer apart then it is advised to call an appliance repair company as your issue can cause a fire.
There are other reasons for your dryer to have a burning smell. There could be an electrical issue inside your dryer. This may mean that a certain part or electrical board is going bad or is bad. Another common reason for this issue is something is near the heating element inside the dryer and causing the burning smell. If you have an older clothes dryer, it may be possible that the components are past its life span and it is time to purchase a new dryer. If you want your dryer to be looked at by a professional, it may be time to call an appliance repair company to come out and check your dryer.
There are plenty of videos that can help you to determine what may be wrong with your dryer. There are a few videos below that may assist you with troubleshooting and disassembling your dryer.
Have a tip for fixing a dryer making a burning smell? Please leave a comment below.