Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer AF Code: Meaning and 8 Quick Fixes!

There is always a reason why an error code pops up on a Cabrio dryer, and it often relates to a fault. One such error code is the Whirlpool Cabrio dryer AF code, and you’ve to wonder what it means.

Well, AF stands for ‘Restricted Airflow.’ That means air is not flowing properly in the dryer, perhaps because of a dirt-clogged lint screen or a blocked, crushed, or kinked house or exterior vent. 

The error code AF, however, does not stop the dryer from running. The dryer will continue to run even though it’s likely not to heat or dry the clothes properly.

So, this is not an error code to take lightly, and you should act first to find the reason for the restricted airflow and fix it.

I’ll share how you can fix your Cabrio dryer to clear the error code, but that’s after identifying the signs of blockage. 

Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer AF Code

In a rush? See below a quick guide to the potential causes of the error code AF and their troubleshooting. 

Quick Troubleshooting Guide for The Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer AF Code

Likely Cause Quick Troubleshooting
1.Clogged Lint Screen Clean the clogged lint screen with a soft brush and soapy hot water. Rinse and dry it
2.Kinked House Vent Remove any kinks from the house vent and keep the vent 4-inches away from the wall. Replace the vent with rigid metal, option if it’s plastic or metal foil
3.Crushed House VentReplace the crushed vent, preferably with a rigid/flexible metal vent
4.Clogged House Vent Detach the house vent and clean it with a dryer cleaning brush or vacuum
5.Clogged Exterior Vent Detach the exterior vent and clean it with a dryer cleaning brush or vacuum
6.Extra-Long Vent With Many ElbowsLimit the number of elbows on an exterior vent to not more than 4
7.Wrong Vent Installation Keep the dryer to wall distance of 4-inches to avoid any kinks and airflow blockage 
8.Wrong Vent DiameterChange the exhaust vent if its diameter is not 4-inches

Signs of A Restricted Airflow On a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer

Now that you know that the error code AF means ‘Restricted Airflow,’ you may want to know how to diagnose a restricted airflow quickly.

Well, it starts with identifying these six signs:

  • Longer drying time – If the house vent is blocked, the dryer won’t heat up quickly, and the clothes will take a long to dry. In fact, the clothes are likely to be wet at the end of the wash cycle unless you run multiple cycles, which can be energy-consuming and tiring. 
  • No airflow – You can note that there is no airflow once the vent blocks. Take out the lint screen or trap, set the dryer on Air fluff or Air Dry, and choose Start. Then place your hand into the lint screen trap area. Generally, you have a blocked vent if you cannot feel any air movement. 
  • Lint absence on the lint screen – If there is no lint on the trap/lint screen or very little, there is restricted airflow. Lint, however, will likely accumulate around the dryer door. 
  • Steam in the dryer – Since heat emission is restricted, steam will stay in the dryer. So, you may notice some moisture on the dryer door. 
  • Water puddle (dripping) on the floor – Moisture will also not be released during a vent blockage, which means it will drip onto the ground, more so behind your dryer.
  • Overheating dryer – The Cabrio dryer is likely to become too hot to touch. It overheats due to restricted airflow, making its outside wall very hot and uncomfortable to touch. 

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

Now, consider these eight issues if your Cabrio dryer has the error code AF on it:

1. Dirt-Clogged Lint Screen 

The lint screen or trap catches the clothes lint to prevent them from obstructing the vent. Over time, the accumulating lint, fabric softener, and detergent block the lint screen, making it hard for air to enter and leak into the dryer. 

Once that’s the case, the error code AF will come on to indicate restricted airflow.

Remember, the lint screen also prevents your dryer from overheating if it’s clean. It’s unable to do that, however, if it’s dirt-clogged. So, you risk a fire. 


If your Cabrio lint screen is dirty, you’ve to clean it. Note that you can quickly tell if you have a dirty lint screen if you notice the control panel indicator showing Check Lint Screen.

Here’s how to go about the cleaning:

  • Turn off your Cabrio dryer and unplug it
  • Put out the lint screen 
  • Use your fingers to roll the accumulating lint off
  • Wet the screen with warm/hot water
  • Use a nylon brush, liquid detergent, and hot water to scrub off the lint residue from the screen
  • Rinse the lint screen preferably with hot water
  • Wipe the wet lint screen dry
  • Clean the area where you’ll fit the lint screen and reinstall it

Remember, Whirlpool recommends cleaning the lint screen as often as possible or at least every six months. 

What does code AF mean on my Whirlpool Cabrio dryer

2. Kinked House Vent

If the house vent has kinks between the dryer and the wall, they’ll restrict airflow triggering the error code AF. Generally, kinks slow the ejection of moist air out of the dryer, prolonging the clothes drying time.

So, avoid them, which means constantly checking the house vent. The dryer vent should be 4-inches away from your wall. The vent may form kinks that restrict airflow if the distance is short.

Sometimes, however, kinks form from using the wrong vent type, especially plastic-type and metal foil, which fold easily.


Inspect your dryer hose vent for kinks and remove them by stretching out the duct. Ensure the vent is 4-inches away from your wall and replace it if it’s plastic or aluminum foil. Go for rigid metal instead.

3.  Crushed House Vent (Wrong Vent Type)

Whirlpool recommends rigid/flexible metal vents for a reason, and that’s because the material won’t crash. That’s unlike plastic and aluminum foil.

So, if your vent material is metal foil or plastic, there is the chance that it could be smashed and so you should check it. Like a kinked vent, a crushed vent will slow down moist air ejection from the dryer and prolong the drying time.


Inspect your house vent for possible crashing and replace it with a rigid/flexible metal vent if it’s smashed. 

4. Clogged House Vent (Interior Vent)

Like a kinked or smashed house vent, a clogged house vent shows down moist air ejection and lengthens the drying time. The dryer house or vent may clog with dust, dirt, and lint.

You should inspect it and clean it thoroughly. If not, the dryer will experience restricted airflow, and the error code AF will pop up.


The solution to a clogged house/interior vent is to clean it, which you can do with these steps:

  • Locate the internal vent at the back of the dryer. It leads to the dryer’s exhaust vent
  • Unplug the Cabrio dryer and push/move it away from your wall
  • Detach the internal hose – You may need a screwdriver in some cases
  • Use a dryer cleaning brush or vacuum cleaner with a hose to clean the house vent
  • Return the vent as it was, or go ahead to clean the exterior/exhaust vent

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

The outside may also clog with lint or dirt. Once that happens, the air cannot move out effectively. So, your Cabrio dryer will detect a restricted airflow, triggering the error code AF. 


It’s generally advisable to clean the exterior vent alongside the interior vent. In this case, locate the exterior vent/hose outside your home. It could be on the roof or the home’s siding, and you’ll need to clean it the same way as the interior vent. 

So, you’ll need a long dryer cleaning brush or a vacuum with a long hose to do it. 

How do you fix the AF code on a dryer

6.  Extra Long Exhaust Vent with Many Elbows (Or Turns)

The exhaust vent shouldn’t be too long as that will mean a long path for the moist air to get out. Likewise, it shouldn’t have so many turns or elbows as they’ll slow down the airflow.

In fact, the number of elbows shouldn’t exceed 4. The fewer the elbow, the better the airflow. Generally, the number of turns/elbows depends on the length of the vent, as shown in the table below:

Vent lengthNumber of Elbows 
64 ft.0
54 ft.1
44 ft.2
35 ft.3
27 ft.4


Use the above table to match your exhaust vent length with the ideal number of elbows. As shown, you shouldn’t go for more than four elbows as that restricts airflow.

7. Wrong Vent Installation 

Generally, you should install the dryer vent about 4 inches from your wall. If not, it may form kinks that restrict airflow and trigger the error code AF.


Ensure the dryer vent is only 4-inches away from your wall. So, you may need to move the dryer closer and resize the vent to avoid possible kinks. 

8. Wrong Exhaust Vent Diameter

Whirlpool recommends using 4-inch exhaust vents. If the vent is narrower or broader than 4 inches, it slows down airflow and lengthens the drying time. Such a vent can also cause the Cabrio dryer to display the error code AF. 


Replace the dryer’s exhaust vent if its diameter is narrower or broader than 4 inches. 

People Also Ask

1. What Does Code AF Mean On My Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer?

Usually, the error code AF appears on your dryer when there’s restricted airflow. The reason could be a clogged lint trap, blocked, smashed, or kinked dryer vent, narrower or broader vent, or an extra-long vent with numerous elbows. 

2. How Do You Fix The AF Code On a Dryer?

Since the error code AF indicates Airflow restriction, you can clear it from your dryer by cleaning the lint trap and vent to eliminate blockages. Also, ensure no kinks are on the vent and replace a smashed vent. 

3. How Do I Reset My Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer?

You can reset your Whirlpool Cabrio dryer by following these steps:

  • Press cancel or pause to clear any error code
  • Pick a new cycle and press the start button
  • Power the dryer off if the error won’t go
  • Wait briefly before turning the dryer on
  • Choose another new cycle and then press the start button again

Concluding Remarks On Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer AF Code

As shared, the error code AF only pops up on your Whirlpool Cabrio dryer when there’s restricted airflow. In that case, you’ve to inspect the lint screen for clogging and the vent for clogs, crashes, and kinks.

While at it, keep the vent diameter 4 inches and the number of elbows under 4. More importantly, replace a crushed vent with a rigid/flexible metal option.

Also Read: