Dryer noises are typically straightforward to identify and troubleshoot. However, some sounds only happen under specific circumstances. For example, some dryers only get louder when it heats up and not when the heat is turned off.
When your dryer gets louder as it heats up, it likely has a defective blower wheel, a lint buildup in the blower housing, or failed drum bearings and rollers. The noise gets louder as the machine heats up because the hot air causes its parts to expand and grind against each other.
The following sections will show you more details on each case and guide you through the repair process.
Why Does My Dryer Get Louder As It Heats Up?
Here are the reasons why your dryer gets louder only as it heats up and not when the machine stays cool:
Defective Blower Wheel
About this: The blower wheel is responsible for driving heated air through your dryer. As the name suggests, it consists of a round plastic wheel that spins to generate airflow for your dryer.
You’ll often find the blower wheel towards the rear of your dryer near an air intake. When the wheel spins, it draws in air from outside and pushes it through the appliance to help remove moisture from your clothes.
How it causes noise: Unfortunately, the blower wheels on some dryers come with manufacturing or design defects that only become apparent when the dryer heats up.
When you run your dryer, the heated air will cause the dryer wheel to expand. That’s entirely normal because plastic is a material that expands as temperatures rise.
However, a defective blower wheel expands to the point that it grinds against the housing around it. That’s abnormal and only happens if the wheel is too large or the housing is too small.
The manufacturer might have designed the blower wheel and its housing incorrectly, or the factory made a mistake when putting the machine together.
Solution: The only solution to this problem is to replace the affected blower wheel. First, however, you should check to ensure that your replacement doesn’t have the same defect as the old one.
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Double-check with the manufacturer, parts seller, or repair technician to ensure that your replacement won’t experience the same problem as it heats up.
Lint Buildup In Blower Housing
About this: Lint consists of clothing fibers that come off your laundry as it tumbles freely inside the drum. It’s a natural byproduct of the drying process that can’t be avoided.
Thankfully, dryers come with lint traps that minimize the problem by catching as free-floating much lint as possible from each load.
How it causes noise: Lint floats around in the air, which means it can find its way to the nooks and crannies of your dryer.
Unfortunately, that also means the lint can reach your blower housing and cause a gradual build-up there. That buildup will get more severe over an extended period if it’s not found and cleaned out regularly.
As you saw, the blower wheel expands when your dryer heats up. That expanding wheel will rub against any lint buildup in the housing and produce the loud noise you hear.
Solution: The most effective way to fix this problem is to remove any lint buildup in the blower housing, no matter how small.
You can remove most of it with a vacuum cleaner, though a brush will help with more stubborn lint.
Failed Drum Rollers
About this: Your dryer’s main part, its drum, relies on several supports to turn smoothly, even at higher speeds. Some of them include rollers that sit directly underneath the drum.
Those rollers turn along with the drum during the drying cycle, minimizing friction and noise as a result.
Aside from that, well-functioning drum rollers also reduce the burden on your dryer’s motor in turning the drum.
How it causes noise: Drum rollers will eventually wear out, especially after many years of use. The roller will start making noise as it struggles to turn along with the drum.
That noise might not be evident initially but can become louder as the dryer heats up.
Solution: Worn-out drum rollers must be replaced as soon as possible. However, you must not delay the replacement, as worn-out drum rollers will place added stress on other dryer parts.
It’s also an excellent idea to change all rollers simultaneously as a preventive measure. So replacing them together will save you plenty of time and effort, as the others will likely fail soon, too.
Worn Out Drum Bearing
About this: A drum bearing is responsible for holding things in place and helping them spin smoothly. You’ll find the bearing at the drum’s rear, attaching it to the machine’s frame.
How it causes noise: Like the rollers you read about earlier, drum bearings will also wear out eventually and become a source of dryer noise.
The noise becomes louder when the dryer heats up because the bearing expands and grinds against other surfaces and dryer parts around it.
Solution: You can solve this problem by replacing the drum bearing with a new one. Removing the old bearing and installing a new one is straightforward and won’t take long.
Unfortunately, accessing the bearing is a time-consuming process. First, you’ll have to take off the dryer’s panels and remove the drum from the machine to reach the bearing.
Once you do that, unthread the screws holding the bearing in place. Then, attach the new one and replace the dryer parts you removed earlier.
Don’t apply lubricant to the bearing unless the machine’s manufacturer says it’s safe to do so. Lubricating the drum bearing will make it a trap for lint and dust, leading to other problems in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more helpful pointers to help you troubleshoot your dryer:
Why Is My Dryer So Loud All Of A Sudden?
If your dryer gets loud very suddenly, stop the dryer cycle immediately. You’ll have to inspect the machine closely for any foreign objects that might have gotten stuck inside. That can include hairpins, pens, screws, and other small items.
What Are Normal Dryer Sounds?
Dryers generally operate without making any sounds. You might hear a brief squeaking noise at the beginning of a new cycle. Besides that, you’ll hear your clothes tumbling gently as the drum turns. Any sounds besides that are abnormal.
Is It Safe To Use A Noisy Tumble Dryer?
No, it’s not safe to use a noisy tumble dryer. The noise indicates that there’s a problem, so you should stop the machine and troubleshoot it immediately. Continuing to use a noisy dryer could lead to damage and excess wear.
Should I Lubricate A Noisy Dryer Roller?
No, don’t put lubricant on a noisy dryer roller. Lubricant will trap lint and dust, causing a buildup that’s much more challenging to fix later.
What Is The Air Dry Or Air Fluff Cycle?
Air Dry, Air Fluff, or similar cycles are those that dry your clothes using non-heated air. Instead, the dryer only uses room-temperature air that it pulls in from around the machine. It’s a way of removing dust from your clothes and freshening them up, without running a full drying cycle.