My husband always tries to fix the washer/dryer appliances and I consider his job strictly a “desk jockey” – or computer geek.
He starts by getting the model name and number of the appliance and contacts appliance part stores that he finds in the yellow pages. Luckily we live within walking distance of 2 and I’m sure in FL you will have good success.
The parts stores can tell you over the phone what part to try first, and will give you the price over the phone. That way you can decide if you want to attempt it yourself. They are also great sources of repairmen who work independently and often charge less in labor than big repair contractors.
I live in Northern OH and have stopped using my dryer entirely to save on electricity – especially during air conditioning season. I’ve just started adding vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser, and the wash is coming out cleaner, fresher, and not so stiff from line drying.