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In a world of kitchen appliances, one device stands out as the clear favorite and that is, of course, the air fryer.
It is one of the most versatile devices, and a healthy option if you are trying to eat better. But, like all kitchen appliances, your air fryer can become damaged and stop heating up properly.
So what do you do if your air fryer is not gaining heat? Well, there are actually a couple of different things that you can do to try and get your air fryer working properly again.
These different things are all connected to different parts of the air fryer, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your air fryer isn’t heating up properly.
Check the Power
Before you seek out more advanced reasons why your air fryer might not be heating up, I recommend starting with one easy solution. And that is the power.
Different air fryers will have their power buttons located in different areas, some will be in very obvious positions while others will be more well hidden, such as at the back or underneath the machine.
If you are busy, it is very easy for something as simple as switching the power button on to slip your mind. Especially if the power button is located in a position that is not obvious. This might also happen if your air fryer is new and you are still not used to how it works.
For example, if you do not see the power button on the machine, you might assume that it switches itself on automatically when you connect it to the mains power.
To find out if this could be the cause of your air fryer not heating up, I recommend checking the power button to see if the device is actually on. If you are unsure where the power button is, simply check the device’s manually and this should tell you where to look.
Check the Connection
Another common, yet obvious, reason why your air fryer is not working might be because of the mains power connection.
Before you do anything else, stop and check the power cord of the device and the electrical socket that the plug is connected to. This might seem too obvious, but it is surprising how often this is the cause of electrical devices not working.
Ensure that the power cord is tightly connected to both the power socket on the air fryer and the power socket on the wall.
Some air fryers will come with a fixed cord, in which case you only need to check the wall, but others will come with detachable cords so it is important to check both connections.
If the cord is connected properly on both ends then you should focus on the power socket. Ensure that the switch is actually on as it is easy for this to be an oversight when you are having a busy day.
If this still does not work, there is a possibility that the electrical issue is caused by an electrical overload or a damaged wire in the power code, both of which are a lot more fiddly to fix.
Check the Basket
If you can determine that the electric connection is not the cause of the issue, I would recommend checking the basket of the air fryer next.
With an air fryer, it can be tempting to add as much food as possible to the basket, but this could actually be the reason that your air fryer is not heating up properly.
Filling your basket until it is packed with ingredients can prevent the air fryer from being able to function properly.
You may not be aware of the internal processes that allow your air fryer to cook food, but the main thing that your air fryer needs to operate properly is air circulation. Air circulation is necessary for the air fryer to reach a heat that can cook your food, so without this, your air fryer will not heat up.
So it might seem too simple, but a potential reason why your air fryer is not heating up is because it is too full. Restrict yourself to cooking uniform layers of food, and always ensure that your basket is not overly full as this could prevent it from heating up properly.
Check the Lid
Failing that, I recommend checking the lid of your air fryer. This is another potential cause that might seem too simple, but if the lid of your air fryer is not properly connected then the air fryer will not be able to heat up successfully.
As well as checking the lid, I also recommend checking the user manual for this step as different air fryers will come with different requirements in order for them to operate.
Safety has become a massive priority in recent years, and due to this a lot of air fryers, and other kitchen appliances, have started to include safety features.
One common safety feature that has begun to feature in a lot of air fryers is for the air fryer to not switch on unless the lid is securely locked in place. Some other air fryers include the same locking mechanism for the basket of the device.
When you bought your air fryer, you may not have been aware of this safety feature as it is not commonly advertised.
But if you are puzzled as to why your air fryer will not startup, it might be worth checking both the lid and the basket to identify whether or not they require locking in place. Failing that, check your user manual to see if there is an explanation on how to do this.
Check the Heating Element
As I get a bit more mechanical in the issues that could be preventing your air fryer from heating up, I would recommend checking the heating element.
This is one of the last things that I would recommend looking at as it is much more likely that the issue lies somewhere else. A problem with your heating element is pretty bad, so it’s best not to stress yourself out until you are sure that this has to be the cause.
The heating element is one of the key components of your air fryer and because of this, it completes a lot of work. So it isn’t much of a surprise that this component could develop problems.
As I have already said, this is a serious issue so if you suspect this, you need to call the manufacturer of your air fryer and speak to their customer service department.
From here you will be able to identify if the heating element is actually the problem, and the customer service department will advise you on how you can fix this issue and who to speak to.
Check the Settings
Finally, I recommend checking the settings of your air fryer to see if this could be the cause of your problem. If you have checked everything that I have already looked at, and your air fryer still isn’t heating up then it might be worth choosing a different heating setting to see if that works.
It is common for some air fryers to develop issues when they are set to their lowest heat setting as it can confuse the machine. So if your air fryer is not gaining any heat when it is set to low, I recommend trying it on a hotter setting to see if this works.
Additionally, it is worth checking that the air fryer is using the same metric of measurement as you.
Some air fryers will have an automatic heat setting of Fahrenheit, while others will use Celcius, so it is always worth checking that both you and the air fryer are on the same page before looking to see if the issue could be more serious.
Brand Specific Issues
The issues that I have looked at so far are all very generic, but some brands have been linked with specific issues in terms of the air fryer heating up. Let’s take a look at what they are.
One very popular manufacturer of air fryers is Philips and because of this, some common causes for a lack of heat have been identified. A lot of people who use the Philips air fryer have observed that the device refuses to heat up unless its cycle and cycle length have been properly set.
This is a safety feature that is built into the Philips air fryer, but one that can be annoying if you were not aware of it. So check that you have clearly selected your cycle and timings before you set your Philips air fryer to go.
Similarly, the Ninja air fryer has been linked to some common causes. You may not be aware of this, but the Ninja air fryer is one of few air fryers that require preheating before you add anything into the basket.
So if you have added ingredients to your air fryer but notice that it is not heating up, this could be the reason why. For future reference, always heat up your Ninja air fryer before you add anything to it.
My Air Fryer Still won’t Heat Up
If you have looked at all of the issues I have highlighted above but your air fryer is still not working then there is a good chance this is due to a fault in its build. This is a big pain as you cannot fix it yourself, and you will probably have to send your air fryer away to be fixed.
Before you do anything else, you need to check for two things: your air fryer’s warranty, and whether or not there have ever been any product recalls for your air fryer model.
If your air fryer is still in warranty, the next step is to ring the store that you bought it in and speak to them about getting a replacement for your faulty device.
If your device is out of warranty, you should contact the manufacturer of the device and tell them about the issue. More often than not the manufacturer will be able to fix the problem but they do usually require you to cover the cost of the repairs as you no longer have a warranty.
You should consider these costs before you tell them to go ahead with the repairs as these repairs could be more expensive than the cost of a new air fryer. In which case you are better off buying a replacement than getting it fixed.
In short, there are lots of potential causes for your air fryer not heating up. There could be a series cause behind this problem, but more often than not the reason that your air fryer is not heating up is an oversight.
So I recommend troubleshooting all the causes I have looked at above before contacting the manufacturer about the issue. If you’re still looking for more information about air fryers, check out my Instant Pot vs Air Fryer.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.