Reasons Why Your Air Fryer Isn’t Heating Up: How to Fix

Air fryers are one of the most popular new appliances of the past decade. They are designed to “fry” food with just a little bit of oil and some high heat, and almost exactly duplicate the effects of a deep fryer with just a percentage of the fat. While they’re extraordinarily helpful to have around if you’re hoping to cut down on fat, air fryers do run into some problems.

Suppose you have an air fryer that’s not heating up. In that case, you’ll need to check the outlet and the power cord itself, inspect the temperature and timer knobs, make sure the door or lid is closed tight, decrease the amount of food you’re trying to fry, and check out the heating element.

With the help of this article, you’ll learn how to fix all these issues and learn how to take good care of your air fryer — dealing with a pesky air fryer? Read on for some much-needed help.

Check the Outlet to Your Air Fryer

Even though it may seem like a simple solution – almost silly simple – it’s possible that your air fryer just isn’t plugged into the outlet. When dealing with a device that won’t turn on, heat up, or start working, take a peek at the outlet it’s plugged into, and make sure the connection is secure. The best way to solve mechanical issues is to work from the outside-in, from the outlet to the smallest inside parts of the machine/device.

When you’re working with a device that you keep on the counter for long periods, something may get knocked out of a socket or get unplugged when someone is cleaning the counter. That’s why you should always double-check that your air fryer is plugged in when you notice that it’s not heating up.

Another reason that you should check the outlet is that the fuse might have blown. Though this is not usually an issue that happens with air fryers, you may have too many devices plugged into one outlet, and the breaker flipped. 

Breakers can flip when we have multiple devices like microwaves, toaster ovens, lamps, lights, waffle makers, and others plugged into a single outlet. This overloads the electrical system connected to that outlet and turns it off.

To test whether or not the fuse has blown, try plugging in another appliance that you are sure works. If it doesn’t turn on, you’re probably dealing with a blown fuse. 

If this is the case, you should make sure to unplug some of the devices from that outlet. This will ensure that the devices don’t get damaged if the power surges and makes sure that an overloaded outlet doesn’t happen again. After you do that, then you should switch the breaker back on.

Check Your Air Fryer Power Cord

Once you’ve made sure that your issue is not the outlet itself, then you should make sure that the power cord that connects your air fryer to the outlet in the wall isn’t damaged. If you’re trying to figure out why your air fryer isn’t working properly, but the outlet is fine, then the power cord might have been damaged without you knowing it.

Unfortunately, people encounter this common issue when they’re using household appliances, especially ones they got for cheap.

When you’re looking for damage along the power cord that connects the air fryer with the wall outlet, you should first look for any signs of breakage or fraying. If your air fryer came with a cheap or low-quality power cord, there’s a chance that it’s been broken from overuse and excess movement. Power cords can break when they’re not handled properly, so make sure that you’re taking care of your air fryer.

Another reason that the power cord on your air fryer might be busted is because of mice or other pests. If you’ve kept your air fryer packed away in a dark place without a box around it, there’s a chance that mice or rats have gotten to it and chewed at the cable. Cord damage will prevent an air fryer from heating up properly.

Cord damage is also a massive risk because of the potential for electrical failure. If you have an air fryer that isn’t working, damage to the power cord is one of the riskiest issues because if something goes wrong with the power cord, it could cause an electrical fire. Because of this particular risk, make sure to take care of your air fryer and its power cord.

Finally, if the cord itself isn’t damaged, the cord may have gotten disconnected at the air fryer itself. Suppose your air fryer has a cord that can be taken out and unattached, it’s probably gotten jostled out of place and disconnected. 

To fix this issue, you’ll have to make sure that the air fryer connection and the cable are fully secured. Check that everything is in its correct place and won’t run the risk of being detached unintentionally.

To fix an air fryer cord that’s been broken or frayed, Air Fryer Guide suggests taking it to a repair person if the cord isn’t detachable. This will be much easier than trying to do risky electrical work by yourself. If your air fryer has a detachable cord and doesn’t work even when it’s firmly plugged into both ends, you can simply replace it.

Check the Temperature of Your Air Fryer

Now that you’ve determined that it’s not the outlet that’s the issue, nor is it the power cord, you’ll have to take a look at the air fryer’s face and see if your problems are caused by one of the external settings. Before you try to break open your air fryer and pull it apart to solve the problem, start with the easier external issues then work inward.

The part of the air fryer you should take a look at next is the temperature setting. Air fryers have different temperature settings depending on the brand and model. Some air fryers have a more straightforward dial setting, while others have buttons you press to enter a temperature. First, figure out which settings you have. Is your air fryer set at the right temperature for your food?

For their air fryer model, the Philips company suggests taking a look at the temperature dial as one of the first ways to determine why your air fryer may not be working. If your air fryer is on a low setting (closer to 104°F/40°C), then the Philips company says that it may appear that your air fryer isn’t working correctly, when you simply need to turn the temperature up.

If you’re working with a digital temperature setting, make sure that you’re working with the right settings. You want to make sure that you have it set hot enough that it will heat up. Lower settings won’t feel like they’re heating up, so be sure to use a higher temperature than the lower temperature settings on your air fryer. It’s important to follow the recipes you’re using to ensure the best result.

When it comes to air frying, to get a crispy texture, you’ll need to make sure that your air fryer is hot. If you’re air frying at a high temperature, you will probably end up turning the temperature down at the end of the cycle. Make sure to check the temperature dial next time.

Check the Air Fryer’s Timer

After determining that the air fryer’s issue isn’t actually the temperature setting, then it’s important to look at another setting on the air fryer’s face – the timer. Sometimes, depending on what style of air fryer you’ve purchased, the machine won’t start up unless you pick a time from the timer setting. This is to increase the device’s safety, but it can also be frustrating for people who just want their air fryer to cooperate.

Much like the temperature setting, your air fryer’s timer setting will vary by brand and by model. Some air fryers have an old-fashioned dial on the face that turns and ticks, while others have a digital model that you can just punch the time into.

The air fryer pros at My Budget Recipes talk about the intricacies of air fryers in their article, and in particular, about the nuances of using a Philips model air fryer. They say that the Philips air fryer can often have an issue heating up if you don’t pick a cooking cycle – this can be confusing if you don’t want to set your air fryer for a particular amount of time.

To fix the issue of an air fryer not heating up because you haven’t picked a temperature or cook cycle, you’ll just have to set a time for your air fryer, even if it’s a bit longer or shorter than you want. This will help ensure that your air fryer heats up properly and doesn’t give you any issues when trying to cook yourself some lunch.

Check the Air Fryer Door

Once you’ve taken a look at the other external features of your air fryer as well as the power cord and outlet connection, then it’s time to look at the door or lid of your air fryer to see what’s going on and to determine why your air fryer might not be heating up as you want it.

Much like a standard oven, air fryers will leak heat if they’re not sealed tightly. This is because the comparatively cool air of your kitchen mixes with the small amount of hot air from your fryer, making it seem like there isn’t any hot air in the air fryer.

While some air fryer models will heat up if the door or lid is left open, other models won’t allow the system even to start heating up if they can sense that the lid isn’t on tightly. While the first style of air fryer will become somewhat hot while the door is open, the other style won’t even begin to warm up if the door is open, which would explain your issue.

To make sure that your air fryer heats up properly, you’ll need to make sure that your air fryer’s door or lid is perfectly sealed. It’s important to make sure that your air fryer door is closed because keeping it cracked is a waste of electricity and heat, and can even be dangerous for your kitchen and the people in it. Make sure to seal it up tight, so your food gets nice and crispy and keeps yourself safe.

Check the Amount of Food in the Air Fryer

Air fryers use some amazing technology to heat up and crisp your food without all the oil and fat of using a deep fryer. They’re excellent for people who are watching their waistline and want to get fit, but they can also be tricky to use if you’re not familiar with the proper protocols and factory instructions. 

If you don’t organize your food properly in the air fryer, you run the chance of overloading the air fryer and keeping it from distributing heat properly.

One of the most important factors of using your air fryer properly is to keep good air circulation. My Budget Recipes does a great job of analyzing this issue – they discuss the need for air circulation in the air fryer. 

“Air” is right there in the name, right? Because the air fryer uses hot air and a tiny amount of oil to produce a crispy result (unlike deep fryers that use large amounts of oil), air movement around the air fryer is essential to its proper functioning.

If your air fryer isn’t allowed enough room to circulate that hot air, then your food won’t become crispy, and the air fryer itself might not even heat up adequately. When you’re using an air fryer, you mustn’t overload it with food.

Imagine you’re filling up your air fryer with an entire bag of frozen french fries. The french fries are cold, which already brings down the air’s temperature inside the air fryer. If you’re filling the entire air fryer with food that’s ice cold and you’re not giving it adequate room to circulate hot air, the air fryer will seem as though it’s not even warming up.

If you’re noticing that your air fryer isn’t heating up and you’ve taken a look at the previous issues, check and see if you’re putting a large amount of food into the fryer. 

You should always follow the package instructions that came with your particular brand and model of air fryer – don’t just rely on internet recipes to tell you how much to put in your machine. Perhaps cook your food in multiple small batches instead of cramming it all in at one time.

Check the Air Fryer Heating Element

It can be majorly frustrating when you do all sorts of diagnostics and testing on your air fryer, and you still can’t figure out why it’s malfunctioning. There’s dinner to put on the table! Once you have exhausted all other options and made sure that none of the other issues on this list have happened to your air fryer, then it’s time to look at the heating element.

The heating element is the part of the air fryer that creates the high heat that will cook and fry your food. This is the most important part of your air fryer because it’s the piece that makes everything happen. Because it’s so important, you’ll want to be careful when you’re taking a peek at it. Don’t just start poking and prodding around inside your air fryer without knowing what you’re doing first.

If there is no other solution to your issue, and after you’ve gone through all the tests we’ve suggested in this article, then it’s time to call up the customer service wing of the brand you’ve bought an air fryer from. It’s important to note the tests that you’ve run on your device when you’re calling them up.

This is the suggestion that almost all others make when writing about air fryers – when in doubt, give the manufacturer a ring. Their customer service teams are organized specifically to help people like you with issues like a malfunctioning heater. Ensure you keep all documentation from your air fryer if you need to get a new one. This will make the process easier and help you get cooking again as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Air fryers are some of the handiest pieces of cooking technology. They’re super helpful for people who are hoping to lose weight or simply cut down on the fat intake. They can be used for frying meats, potatoes, desserts, and more, and are a great alternative to a traditional deep fryer that uses gallons of oil.

However, sometimes people run across issues with their air fryers, the most common issue being that their air fryer isn’t heating up properly. 

If your air fryer is malfunctioning on you, you’ll have to run the following tests:

  • Make sure it’s plugged in
  • Check the power cord
  • Verify the temperature is properly set
  • Ensure the timer is engaged
  • Make sure the door is sealed
  • See if you’re cooking too much food
  • Check the heating element

With the help of these tests and tips, you’ll be back to air frying in no time.

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