Dryers these days come equipped with all sorts of different settings and cycles. Among them is the Air Fluff cycle, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Air Dry’.
The Air Fluff or Air Dry cycle mimics the conditions of air drying your clothes outside. Instead of hanging them outdoors, the dryer provides this to you by tumbling your clothes gently and at room temperature. That is ideal for freshening up clothes, especially if they’ve developed a musty smell from being stored for too long.
As you keep reading, we’ll explore what the Air Fluff cycle is, how it works, and how you can use it to benefit your clothes.
What Is The Air Fluff Cycle For?
The Air Fluff cycle on your dryer is very straightforward. Its purpose is to expose your clothes to similar conditions as if they were air-dried outdoors. That’s why some models will refer to this cycle as ‘Air Dry’ instead.
When you select the Air Fluff cycle, the dryer will tumble your clothes while pushing room-temperature air through the drum. In other words, this is a dryer cycle that does not use any heat. The appliance only takes in room temperature air and directs it to the drum without the heating element turning on.
Besides that, the Air Fluff cycle also does not spin the clothes at high speeds. Therefore, it’s very gentle to the fabrics overall.
In effect, the Air Fluff cycle ‘fluffs’ your clothes to remove low amounts of moisture and freshen them up.
Is Air Fluff The Same As Air Dry?
Yes, the Air Fluff cycle is also known as ‘Air Dry’ on some dryer models. Unlike specific dryer cycles, this one is not trademarked and doesn’t belong to only one dryer brand.
So, you’ll find the same cycle on many models across different brands. Typically, the cycle is known as either Air Fluff or Air Dry.
When Should You Use The Air Fluff Cycle Of Your Dryer?
You should use the Air Fluff cycle when you need to freshen up delicate items that might have been in the cupboard for too long. The Air Fluff cycle will gently tumble them in the dryer at room temperature, allowing for fresh air to replace the musty smell from being in the cupboard too long.
You can also use the Air Fluff cycle to perform some very light drying on a small number of items. However, doing so might take longer than standard drying cycles.
Remember: the Air Fluff cycle does not use any heat. So, this cycle is not suitable for drying wet clothes.
How Long Does It Take Clothes To Dry On Air Fluff?
Unfortunately, there is no set duration for drying clothes using the Air Fluff cycle. There are two reasons for this:
- No heat is used: First and foremost, the Air Fluff cycle does not use any heat. It only uses room temperature air from its surroundings.
So, you’re not encouraged to use it to dry wet clothes like those that have just been through the washer.
The Air Fluff cycle is better suited for freshening up delicate fabrics and drying up small amounts of moisture (like if you spilled water on a shirt).
- Humidity levels: As mentioned earlier, the Air Fluff cycle pulls in room temperature air from its surroundings to fluff the clothes inside. Therefore, humidity plays a huge role in how effectively it can dry up any moisture.
For instance, if you live in a place where the humidity levels are low, then the moisture will dry up faster. However, high humidity levels have the opposite effect, forcing you to run the Air Fluff cycle for very long periods.
Can You Dry Sweaters On Air Fluff?
Yes, you can dry sweaters using the Air Fluff cycle. The Air Fluff or Air Dry cycle does not use any heat, and it only involves the drum spinning very gently. So, you won’t have to worry about any problems with your sweater.
Still, it’s crucial to understand that drying times can differ significantly for the same reasons (no heat and gentle tumbling). A soaking-wet sweater will take a very long time (perhaps hours) to completely dry using the Air Fluff cycle.
That will also depend on the humidity in the air that the appliance draws in.
Why Is My Dryer Getting Hot On Air Fluff?
The Air Fluff or Air Dry cycle on your dryer is designed to use room-temperature air only. So, there should be absolutely no heat being generated by the appliance during this cycle.
If your dryer is getting hot during the Air Fluff cycle, it’s likely a grounded heating element or faulty control board relay.
Grounded Heating Element
The heating element is responsible for generating heat inside a dryer. As you might imagine, this is a very crucial component that is in use whenever you turn on your dryer.
However, the heating element should not be receiving any power or heating up during the Air Fluff or Air Dry cycle, which only uses room temperature air.
Why it fails:
The leading cause of a dryer that heats up during the Air Fluff cycle is a grounded heating element. The heating element is meant to remain sealed, and it will heat up when electrical power flows through it.
However, heating elements can break or deteriorate over time, exposing the electrical wire inside. If that wire comes into contact with any other metal part inside its housing, it will continuously generate heat even when it shouldn’t.
How to fix:
To fix this, you must replace the heating element:
- Start by disconnecting the power supply to the dryer to remove any risk of injury or electrocution.
- Then, you’ll access the heating element housing, a crucial component that is often located near the blower wheel.
- Then, you’ll disconnect the heating element and remove any mounting screws.
- Replace it with the new heating element and work your way backwards, replacing anything taken out.
Faulty Control Board Relay
The control board is like the brain of the entire dryer. It consists of several relays and other components which coordinate the actions of the dryer’s components.
Among them is a relay that supplies power to the heating element to generate heat.
Why it fails:
When the dryer is running an Air Fluff cycle, the control board should not be sending any power to the heating element. However, a faulty control board relay could mistakenly do that, keeping the heating element working in an ‘always on’ way that it shouldn’t be doing.
As a result, the dryer will generate heat despite the Air Fluff cycle.
How to fix:
It’s possible to have someone fix the specific faulty control board relay for you. However, the more straightforward option would be to replace the control board entirely. To do that:
- You’ll need to open the control panel where the current control board sits.
- Remove the mounting screws and electrical connectors, then put the new control board in the same way as the old one.
Be sure to refer to your user manual for specific steps unique to your dryer brand and model.
Why Does Dryer Only Work On Air Fluff?
Suppose you find that the dryer only works correctly during the Air Fluff cycle but not any other dryer modes. If that’s the case, you likely have a damaged control board.
Just as described above, the control board is the dryer’s ‘brain’, controlling all of its actions.
Why it fails:
Several things can damage a dryer control board, including electrical surges and short circuits. If that happens, you’ll be able to see visible signs of damage like burn marks on the control board itself.
Besides that, you might also smell a slightly burnt smell coming from it as well.
When the control board fails, it will not be able to deliver power or coordinate the correct components based on the cycle that you’ve chosen.
The Air Fluff cycle might still work because it doesn’t require the heating element to turn on, and the drum is only meant to turn at slow speeds.
How to fix:
To fix this, you’ll need to replace the control board. That involves opening the control panel to access the board. Then, you’ll need to remove the mounting screws and electrical connectors to the board.
From there, you’ll put the new board in and reconnect it the same way as the old one.
Why Is My Dryer Overheating On Air Fluff?
The Air Fluff cycle only uses room temperature air. Just as described above, the dryer should not be generating any heat at all. However, if the dryer heats up to the point of overheating, the likely reasons are:
- Damaged control board: A damaged control board might be supplying power to the heating element, keeping it ‘always on’ despite the dryer being on Air Fluff mode.
- Grounded heating element: The heating element might be damaged and in contact with a metal part, therefore generating heat even when it shouldn’t.
Blocked vents (Possibly): The two reasons above will explain why the dryer is heating during the Air Fluff cycle. However, it’s also possible that none of that heat is escaping because of a blocked vent. If that’s the case, then the heat will build up, causing the dryer to overheat.
Related: How Often To Clean Dryer Vent?