How a Clothing Dryer Works

The dryer works by tumbling the clothing and blowing air through the drum. The drum has baffles protruding into the drum to keep the clothes from bunching up. The length of time the dryer runs and the air temperature are elements of the various drying cycles.

A motor turns the clothes drum and also turns a fan (called the blower). The air flow from the blower passes over a heating element (in an electric dryer) or through a gas jet (in a gas dryer). The air then passes through the drum and out the back of the dryer through ducts to the vent which is typically located outdoors.

A gas dryer uses a burner assembly which is comprised of a control valve with 1 or 2 solenoids (also called coils), a gas jet, an igniter and a sensor. When the dryer is started, the igniter heats up, when the sensor detects the heat, it signals the solenoid on the control valve to open and release the gas which is then lit by the glowing hot igniter. The igniter turns off but the gas jet remains open. The burning jet of gas keeps the sensor warm which keeps the gas valve open, until the thermostat signals the control valve to stop the flow of gas.

The dryer cannot operate until the door switch signals that the door is closed. The start button must then be pressed to enable the timer control. The timer control either regulates the length of time the dryer runs or it works in conjunction with a moisture sensor that measures the water vapor in the drum to determine when the clothes have dried.


Amana Asko Avanti Bosch
Creda Dacor Danby Electrolux
Fisher & Paykel Frigidaire Gaggenau GE Appliances
Monogram Profile Haier Appliance Hotpoint
Jenn-Air Kenmore KitchenAid LG Appliances
Magic Chef Maytag Miele Speed Queen
Sub Zero Appliances Tappan Thermador Appliances Traulsen
U-Line Viking Appliances Whirlpool Wolf

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