An error code on a Whirlpool Cabrio dryer always has a specific cause, typically associated with a malfunction. One such error code is denoted by the letters AF on your Whirlpool Cabrio dryer, and it's worth exploring its meaning.

AF stands for 'Restricted Airflow,' indicating that the airflow within the dryer is hindered in some way, possibly due to a lint screen clogged with dirt or an obstructed, crushed, or kinked household or exterior vent. Importantly, the AF error code doesn't halt the dryer's operation; it will continue to run, albeit with reduced effectiveness in terms of heating and drying your laundry.

Therefore, it's crucial not to disregard this error code, and you should promptly investigate the cause of the airflow restriction and address it.

I'll outline how you can rectify the Cabrio dryer's issue and clear the error code, but first, let's identify the indications of a blockage

Reasons Behind the Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer AF Code and Their Quick Fixes

1. Dirt-Clogged Lint Screen

The lint screen or lint trap serves the essential function of capturing lint from your clothes to prevent it from obstructing the dryer vent. Over time, a buildup of lint, fabric softener, and detergent can clog the lint screen, impeding the flow of air into the dryer. When this occurs, the AF error code will be displayed, signalling restricted airflow.

It's important to note that a clean lint screen also acts as a safety measure to prevent your dryer from overheating. However, it can't perform this function effectively when it's clogged with dirt, increasing the risk of a fire.

To address this issue, follow these steps for cleaning your Cabrio lint screen:

  1. Turn off your Cabrio dryer and unplug it.
  2. Remove the lint screen.
  3. Use your fingers to remove the accumulated lint.
  4. Wet the lint screen with warm/hot water.
  5. Employ a nylon brush, liquid detergent, and hot water to scrub away the lint residue from the screen.
  6. Rinse the lint screen thoroughly, preferably with hot water.
  7. Wipe the wet lint screen dry.
  8. Clean the area where you'll reinstall the lint screen.
  9. Reinstall the lint screen.

It's essential to remember that Whirlpool recommends cleaning the lint screen as frequently as possible, or at a minimum, every six months, to maintain optimal dryer performance and safety.

2. Kinked House Vent

Kinks in the house vent that run between the dryer and the wall can indeed hinder airflow, leading to the triggering of the AF error code. Generally, kinks impede the efficient removal of moist air from the dryer, resulting in longer drying times for your clothes.

To prevent this issue, it's crucial to avoid kinks in your vent system, which entails regularly inspecting the house vent. The recommended distance for the dryer vent from your wall is 4 inches. If the distance is too short, it can lead to the formation of kinks that obstruct airflow.

In some cases, kinks may arise from using the wrong type of vent, particularly those made of plastic or metal foil, as they are prone to folding easily.

To rectify this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect your dryer hose vent for any kinks, and carefully straighten out the duct to remove them.
  2. Ensure that the vent maintains a 4-inch distance from your wall.
  3. If your vent is made of plastic or aluminium foil, consider replacing it with a rigid metal vent, which is less susceptible to kinking.

3. Crushed House Vent (Wrong Vent Type)

Whirlpool's recommendation of using rigid or flexible metal vents is based on the durability of these materials, as they are less prone to collapsing compared to plastic or aluminium foil vents.

If your dryer vent is made of metal foil or plastic, there is a risk that it could become crushed over time, which can have the same negative impact as a kinked vent. This crushing of the vent can impede the efficient removal of moist air from the dryer, leading to longer drying times.

To address this issue:

  1. Inspect your house vent for any signs of crushing or collapsing.
  2. If you find that the vent is indeed smashed or damaged, consider replacing it with a rigid or flexible metal vent, as these materials are more resistant to collapse.

Pros and Cons of Whirlpool Dryer


  • Large Capacity
  • Efficient Drying
  • Design and Build Quality


  • Price
  • Complexity
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Energy Consumption

Differences Between Whirlpool Dryers and Ventless Dryers

Whirlpool Dryers

Whirlpool dryers typically use a venting mechanism, where hot air is expelled through a vent or duct to the outside of the home. This venting process removes moisture and lint from the dryer, making it a traditional and efficient method of drying clothes.

Ventless Dryers

Ventless dryers, on the other hand, do not require an external venting system. Instead, they rely on different technologies such as condensation or heat pump systems to remove moisture from the air inside the dryer. This makes them suitable for apartments, homes without venting access, or situations where venting is challenging.

Alternative to Whirlpool  Dryer


Maytag dryers are known for their durability and reliability, making them a popular choice for many consumers.

4. Clogged House Vent (Interior Vent)

Similar to kinked or smashed house vents, a clogged house vent can impede the expulsion of moist air and extend the drying time of your dryer. Dust, dirt, and lint can accumulate within the dryer hose or vent over time, causing restricted airflow and triggering the AF error code.

To address a clogged interior vent, you should follow these steps for thorough cleaning:

  1. Locate the internal vent at the rear of the dryer; this vent connects to the dryer's exhaust vent.
  2. Unplug your Cabrio dryer and carefully move it away from the wall.
  3. Depending on the design, you may need to use a screwdriver to detach the internal hose.
  4. Employ a dryer cleaning brush or a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to thoroughly clean the house vent.
  5. After cleaning, reattach the vent as it was, or take the extra step of cleaning the exterior or exhaust vent.

5. Whirlpool Cabrio Code AF Due to A Clogged Exterior Vent

Lint or dirt accumulation on the outside of the vent can also impede the efficient flow of air, leading to a restricted airflow condition that triggers the AF error code on your Cabrio dryer.

To address this issue, it's a good practice to clean both the interior and exterior vents. Here's how to clean the exterior vent:

  1. Locate the exterior vent or hose outside your home, which could be on the roof or the home's siding.
  2. Use a long dryer cleaning brush or a vacuum cleaner with an extended hose to clean the exterior vent in the same manner as you cleaned the interior vent.

6. Wrong Vent Installation

In general, it's recommended to install the dryer vent approximately 4 inches away from your wall. Failing to do so could result in the formation of kinks that obstruct airflow and lead to the AF error code.

To rectify this issue:

  1. Ensure that the dryer vent maintains a distance of only 4 inches from your wall.
  2. If necessary, adjust the position of your dryer to bring it closer to the wall and resize the vent to prevent the possibility of kinks.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can prevent kinks in the vent and ensure that your dryer operates efficiently without triggering the AF error code.


In conclusion, the AF error code on a Whirlpool dryer signifies "Restricted Airflow." This code appears when there is an obstruction or issue in the airflow system of the dryer, such as a clogged lint screen, crushed or kinked vent, or a dirty vent. Addressing these airflow issues promptly is essential to ensure your dryer operates efficiently and safely. Regular maintenance, including cleaning the lint screen, inspecting and cleaning the interior and exterior vents, and positioning the vent correctly, can help prevent the AF error code and maintain the optimal performance of your Whirlpool dryer.


My name is Wisdom Bassey, I'm a blog content writer and graphic designer who provides support and services for brands and different companies. I'm young and versatile, A tech enthusiast. I carry out deep research on every topic I choose to write about. You can reach me through my social media handles, I'm always available and ready to connect.

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