How long does a tumble dryer last? And how to make yours last longer

These expert tips will help you make the most of your dryer, experts assure

laundry room with a washing machine
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When we invest in a bulky appliance such as a tumble dryer, we are likely to pop it in place and not think about it again – other than throwing our laundry into it, of course. 

But tumble dryers can have expiration dates and, much like how long a washing machine lasts, it can all depend on how you use it and where you put it in your home. 

In our handy guide, appliance experts have explained how long a tumble dryer lasts and how to make yours last longer to make the most of your investment. 

How long does a tumble dryer last?

'You won't find an expiration date label on the base of your tumble dryer, it is more a general rule of thumb for the lifespan of your dryer components,' begins Alvin Pullins, appliance expert and specialist at Nerd in The House. 'On average, a well-maintained dryer can last between eight and 15 years. But ‘realistically, if you own a tumble dryer, its lifespan usually varies depending on numerous factors like usage frequency.’

Even the best clothes dryers will give out eventually – even when you avoid major tumble dryer mistakes

Alvin
Alvin Pullins

Alvin Pullins is a qualified home improvement specialist, cleaning expert, and maintenance professional with a passion for home renovations. 

Miele washing machine in a chic farmhouse style laundry room with striped wallpaper and flowers in the sink

(Image credit: Miele)

Factors that influence the lifespan of a dryer

'There are several things that can impact the lifespan of a dryer, but the most impactful is how and how often you use your appliance,' continues Stellar Jackson, an electrical engineer at Portable Power Guides. 'As with anything in your home, the more you use it, the more likely it is to give out. Likewise, overloading your tumble dryer, running multiple cycles a day, and drying frequently at very high temperatures can all wear out the components. Switching out using your dryer for air or line drying where you can is a great way to extend the life of both your machine and your clothing'. 

What’s more, your tumble dryer placement can impact how long your dryer lasts, Stellar continues: ‘Proper ventilation is crucial,’ he urges. ‘Ensuring adequate airflow around the dryer will prevent overheating, helping to protect your machine and avoid a fire hazard.’ 

Stellar Jackson
Stellar Jackson

Stellar Jackson completed his electrical engineering qualification in 2014 and has since started Portable Power Guides to help advise homeowners. He has over four years of experience as a commercial electrician, designing, testing, installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical wiring and equipment.

Industville Sleek Edison Wall Light - Brass image – a neutral laundry room with green and white wallpaper, and an entryway bench to the left

(Image credit: Industville)

'It's not just how you use your machine but the type of machine you have too,' adds Alvin Pullins, appliance expert. ‘It's essential to note that individual experiences may also vary, and factors like brand and model can influence durability’. Higher quality tumble dryers often have more durable components and better construction than low-quality models and brands.

How to make a tumble dryer last longer

laundry room with wooden drying rack and shirt

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'When trying to increase the lifespan of your tumble dryer, the first thing to do is engage in regular maintenance', says Alvin Pullins, appliance expert. 'Clean out the dryer vent and lint filter regularly. This prevents a build-up of dust and debris that can force your machine to work harder and wear out more quickly, possibly also causing a fire'. 

'When fitting your tumble dryer, be sure also to ensure it is level and away from areas with constant temperature fluctuations, such as uninsulated basements or garages', continues Stellar Jackson, electrical engineer. 

'You should also be aware of your tumble dryer load limit and avoid exceeding this limit to prevent putting strain on the drum', Stellar adds. Making a note of what not to put in a tumble dryer can also help to protect both your dryer and your belongings to ensure the maximum lifespan for everything. 

XL Wool Dryer Balls | View at Amazon

XL Wool Dryer Balls | View at Amazon
Using wool dryer balls helps to save money on laundry, and conserve time and energy during your laundry cycle. Use three laundry dryer balls for small/medium loads, and five to six for large.

FAQs

Is it worth fixing a tumble dryer?

If your tumble dryer has a fault and is still relatively new (under eight years old) then it is worth trying to have the existing machine repaired rather than replacing it. Not only will this usually prove more affordable, but it is better environmentally too. If your tumble dryer is old (over 12 years old), and the maintenance and repairs are on the pricier side, then it may be best to consider replacing it instead.  

Can I fix a tumble dryer myself?

Unless you are a licensed electrician or serviceman, it is best to avoid trying to fix a tumble dryer yourself. This is because dryers can pose a fire hazard if not functioning correctly, meaning it is not worth the risk. Having a professional take a look at a faulty machine will help to keep your home safe and your dryer in top condition.  


Even with proper care and maintenance, there are some instances where a dryer will need replacing. If your dryer is no longer fully drying your clothes, is overheating or not heating up correctly, is making an unusually loud sound, or is using more energy than usual, then it might be time for a replacement. If you are not sure if your dryer is on the way out or simply needs some settings adjusting, then consider arranging a service to ensure your machine is in top condition. 

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.