Gas or Electric Dryer – What’s Right for My Home?

electric-clothes-dryer

This article is your complete guide to understanding a gas dryer vs. electric dryer. A washer and dryer are both very common household appliances that most individuals and business owners could not live without. If either breaks, it can be very stressful trying to properly clean clothes and plan to purchase a new one. The last thing on your mind is comparing which is better, gas or electric dryer? That’s why we’ve written this complete guide to help with just that as you make the choice of what’s better – a gas or electric dryer?

We hope you find this post helpful and if you are looking for different ways to become more energy efficient be sure to check out our energy savings calculator! 

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Gas vs Electric Dryer

electric-vs-gas-dryer

So it is finally time, the dryer stopped working and you’re getting overwhelmed with the amount of laundry piling up. Before you make that large purchase, there are a few things you might want to consider about your home when it comes to a gas dryer or electric dryer. Can your laundry room accommodate a gas dryer? Which is a more energy efficient dryer? Do I have a gas or electric dryer now? Or Why is My Electric Bill So High?

All of these questions will help you in the shopping process when purchasing a brand new dryer. It is especially important to know what your current dryer is operating on. Then, if you determine if you have a gas or electric dryer, you know what to compare to!

What’s the Difference Between Gas and Electric Dryer

So, what’s the difference between gas and electric dryers? Electric dryers have metal heating coils that are powered by electricity where gas dryers use natural gas or propane to generate heat! While from the outside, gas and electric dryers look very similar, what’s on the inside makes all of the difference. Both gas and electric dryers use electricity, which can be a major problem for a new dryer because they have vastly different set-ups required. The heating element of your gas vs electric dryer is the contrasting element between them.

Difference Between Gas and Electric Dryers

  • Electric dryers have metal heating coils that are powered by electricity where gas dryers use natural gas or propane to generate heat!

Therefore, when wondering what is the difference between gas and electric dryers, its all in the heat! This is so important because gas dryers need a gas line installed for it to work. If you currently are operating with an electric dryer, you can’t just switch to gas unless you have the gas hookup.

Related Post: How to Calculate Electricity Cost

How Do I Know if I Have a Gas or Electric Dryer?

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As mentioned above, it is very important to know what kind of dryer set up you have before you make any new large purchases. This can be a deal breaker for those looking to purchase a gas clothes dryer, but don’t have an accessible gas line installed in your home. Even if you have a gas stove, don’t assume your dryer is a gas, as well!

Tips to Know if You Have a Gas or Electric Dryer

  • Check the Model Number – The safest way to know exactly what kind of dryer you have is to find out the model number and check with the maker. This can be a simple internet search, or even finding an operating manual.
  • Look Behind Your Dryer – It sounds simple, but still can be difficult to identify if you don’t know what you’re looking for. A gas dryer will have a gas line, which will be connected to a shut-off valve. If you have an electric dryer, you will have an industrial outlet with either a 3 or 5 pronged plug. This is because your electric dryer requires a high voltage outlet.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to know if your dryer is gas or electric. If you’re still unsure, it may be smart to seek professional advice to make sure you purchase the proper appliance for your home.

Related Post: When is the Best Time to do Laundry?

Gas vs. Electric Dryers Pros and Cons

gas-dryer-vs-electric-dryer

When comparing a gas vs electric clothes dryer, there are some important differences that might sway your decision.  You may be wondering, “How does an electric dryer work?” or “Do I have to have a special hookup for a gas dryer?” This simple pros and cons list might help answer those questions.

Gas Dryer Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Cost less in utilities
  • More energy efficient (and dries your clothes quicker)
  • Don’t require a special plug and electrical outlet

Cons:

  • A natural gas hookup is necessary
  • On average more expensive than electric dryer
  • Has to have a vent leading to the outside

Electric Dryer Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Cheaper upfront costs
  • Many different models to choose from
  • Can install almost anywhere without professional assistance

Cons:

Now that we know the surface level pros and cons of gas vs electric clothes dryers, let’s go more in depth to decide which is better overall.

Energy Savings Tool: The Energy Professor Electricity Rate Check Tool 

Which is Easier to Install? – Gas or Electric Dryer

Just like any appliance, there is an installation process when it comes to washers and dryers. When deciding between a natural gas dryer vs electric, it is important to note that both of them require an installation process. If you already own one of the other, it will be very simple for you to purchase the same type of dryer and switch out the old one.

Is a Gas or Electric Dryer Easier to Install?

  • Electric

Let’s assume that you have a brand new house and are trying to decide whether to install a gas or electric dryer. An electric clothes dryer requires a 240-volt outlet and a special plug which should come with your dryer. A licensed electrician will have to install a 240-volt outlet if your home was built without one to ensure you are safely operating.  A gas clothes dryer requires a gas line to hookup to the appliance. If you do not have a gas line specifically for the dryer, you will have to call a licensed plumber or your local utility company to assist you.

Gas Dryer vs. Electric Dryer – Which is Cheaper?

refrigerator-wattage

So, what is cheaper, gas or electric? Unfortunately, that isn’t a simple answer either! There are different costs to take into consideration when wondering which is better for your home. For either gas or electric dryers, you will have upfront costs, installation costs and upkeep costs to keep in mind.

Is Gas or Electric Cheaper?

  • Electric

So, is gas or electric dryers cheaper? If you compare similar styles of dryers, you will typically notice that gas dryers are more expensive to purchase. On average a gas dryer will cost about $50 – $100 more than an electric dryer. That is not to say that electric dryers are not expensive, they certainly can be. But, it will be much easier to find cheap electric dryers over gas ones.

Gas vs Electric Installation Cost

If your home is not equipped with a gas line for your dyer, that cost is going to be much more to install than an electric dryer. But, if you do not have the special outlet for an electric clothes dryer, that will also be a cost to have installed by a professional. It is important to know that repairs on your gas dryer will have to be done by a professional to ensure there are no gas leaks. Electric dryer fixes or problems can typically be fixed without professional help.

So which is better – gas or electric dryer for cost? We think that overall, an electric dryer would cost less to install and maintain.

Which is More Efficient? Gas vs Electric

Gas vs electric dryer – which is more efficient? When it comes to efficiency, we want to compare drying time and overall utility costs. Gas dryers are significantly more energy-efficient than electric dryers. The drying time of a gas dryer is half of what an electric dryer can do. That means even though your gas dryer also uses electricity, the charges to your local utility provider will be significantly less over time.

Even if it is 30 minutes less of drying time per day, that can seriously add up! If you’re paying $0.11 per kWh on your current electric bill contract, it might not seem like much. But if you run your dryer almost every day, you will see serious savings over time!

So, are gas dryers better than electric when it comes to efficiency? Yes, absolutely. If you are worried about a high electric bill because of your electric dryer, a gas dryer can help!

If you think you’re paying too much on your electric bill, you can use our Electricity Rate Check Tool which can show you the best prices in your electricity market and save you a ton of money!

Related article: How Many Watts in One Kilowatt Hour?

Gas vs Electric Dryer Safety

gas dryer vs electric dryer

A huge fear for any homeowner is the thought of a safety hazard for their family. Any appliance can cause a risk without proper maintenance or installation. With that being said, if you use your dryer properly, there shouldn’t be an apparent hazard to you or your home.

Having an electric clothes dryer, there is a possibility of a fire if there is bad wiring, dirty lint traps or not following the dryer’s capacity limit. With a natural gas dryer, there is a bit more of a risk, hence, why we always recommend letting a professional tend to your gas dryer. Not vented properly, you could run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If there is a leak with the natural gas, that could also potentially be a fire hazard. A great way to prevent poisoning is to keep a carbon monoxide detector and always refer to the professionals for any repairs or advice on your gas dryer!

Conclusion – Are Gas Dryers Better Than Electric?

electric-clothes-dryer

There are many different reasons you could be considering purchasing a new dryer, such as high electric costs, or wanting faster drying time. As you can see, there are many things to consider when comparing gas vs. electric dryers, but overall, the choice is yours. If you’re looking for long-term energy savings and what is better for the environment, then a gas dryer is right for you. If you’re looking for something a bit easier to maintain and possibly safer, then an electric clothes dryer!

The most important thing is that you do your proper research and safely go through the process with the right professionals to help you.

Gas Dryer vs Electric Dryer FAQs

Q: Can You Use an Electric Dryer in a Gas House?

A: The answer is yes, but you would have to install a 240-volt outlet if you do not already have one in your laundry room.

Q: How Many Amps Does an Electric Dryer Use?

A: The most common amps for a home-use electric dryer is 30 amps. They can be between 7 and 30 amps, but most commonly 30 amps.

Q: What’s the Difference Between a Gas and Electric Dryer?

A: Electric dryers have metal heating coils that are powered by electricity where gas dryers use natural gas or propane to generate heat!

Q: How do I Know What Type of Dryer I Have?

A: The two most common ways to tell if you have a gas vs electric dryer are to check the model number and to look behind your drier. Look behind to see if you have a gas line or just a power cord. 

Q: What are the Pros of a Gas Dryer?

A: Gas driers typically cost less, are more energy efficient, and dont require a special plug/outlet. 

Q: What are the Pros of an Electric Dryer?

A: Electric dryers are cheaper upfront, there are a larger variety of models to choose from, and you can install them almost anywhere. 

If you’re also in a deregulated energy state, make sure to do comparisons with our Electricity Rate Check Tool to see how much money you can save by switching your provider.

We hope you found this article helpful! If you are looking for ways to increase the energy efficiency and sustainability in your home be sure to take a look at all of the latest renewable energy options in your area. The Energy Professor helps residential and small business owners find qualified energy suppliers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, and  Massachusetts!