How Long Should Dryer Elements Last?

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Clothes dryer heating elements can burn out easily.

A Long Lifespan

The element in a clothes dryer is called a heating element, and it heats the dryer in order to dry the clothes. If the dryer is used occasionally, the dryer heating element should last as long as a well-maintained and cared for dryer, which has an average lifespan of between 8 and 18 years.

Rapid Burnout

Clothes dryer heating elements sometimes do not last as long as the actual dryer itself, and continuous use may result in it having to be replaced before a whole new dryer is needed. These elements are available through many different manufacturers and distributors. There is no set lifespan on a dryer heating element, but they can burn out at any time if the dryer overheats or vents become clogged.

Bottom Line

If the dryer is well-maintained and the vents and lint traps are kept clean, the heating element can last between 8 and 18 years. If the dryer is used on a daily basis and is not kept well-maintained, the heating element can burn out at any time. The easiest way to keep your dryer maintained is to clean the lint trap before every load, otherwise the lint can build up and get into the vents. Not only does this clog the vents, and put more stress on the heating element because it has to heat to a higher temperature, it can present a fire hazard.

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Nicole Papagiorgio

Nicole Papagiorgio has been writing professionally since 2005. She is a blogger and freelance writer based in Canada and has been published in the "National Post," "Ottawa Citizen" and "Vancouver Sun." Papagiorgio has an associate degree in journalism from Algonquin College in Ontario.