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Gas vs Electric Dryers (Pros and Cons)

Here’s the gas vs electric dryers pros and cons including differences, cost, efficiency, safety and which appliance is better for your laundry room.

Electric dryer with wood countertop, white cabinets surrounded by clean clothing Dryers, the seasonal savior, have become an indispensable household item cutting half of the time and effort spent on drying the laundry. For preparation, it’d be best to learn more about the different types of dryers that are best suited to your needs. 

One of the first things to consider when buying a new dryer is whether you prefer a gas or electric model.

Of the 89 million residential clothes dryers in the US, 75 % are electrical models while 25 % use natural gas. Moreover, NRDC or Natural Resources Defense Council natural gas dryers usually cost 50% to 75% less to operate than electric dryers. 

Check out the differences between gas and electric dryers in terms of cost, efficiency, and safety features of each type below.

Difference Between Gas and Electric Dryers

A gas dryer, despite its name, also uses electricity to power up the fan, lights, drum, and controls while utilizing natural gas or propane to generate heat. Alternatively, electric dryers use electricity to heat the coils that produce the heat. 

Thus, both gas and electric dryers actually use electricity to operate but differ in how they heat air to dry laundry. 

Gas Dryer –120-volt outlet and gas outlet (usually colored yellow) 

Electric Dryer – 240-volt outlet 

Here we share the gas vs electric dryers pros and cons starting with gas.

Gas Dryer Pros and Cons

Gas dryer in spacious laundry room Gas dryers produce hot air using natural gas or propane, pulling air through its vents and across the gas burner, and into the drum. Power, lights, and drum use electricity, so you’ll need a power outlet and a capped-off gas line.

Pros

  • Dries clothes fast 
  • Gentle on fabric 
  • Lower electricity bill consumption 
  • Lesser costs for operation 
  • Uses less energy 
  • No grounding issues

Cons 

  • High installation costs
  • Not advisable as a DIY Project 
  • Needs a gas line 
  • Poses additional safety hazards
  • Limited product models 

Energy Efficient. Operating costs are often ½ of an electric dryer. Unlike electric dryers that use a coil to produce heat, gas dryers operate using a burner that heats instantly. 

Furthermore, the gas-operated dryer is equipped with a moisture sensor that enables it to gauge how fast your clothes are drying. If there is not enough dampness present, the gas dryer then can adjust the drying time accordingly, reducing the energy usage as much as possible. 

Faster Drying Time. Along with its energy efficiency, you get a faster drying time. On average, gas dryers can dry clothes twice faster than electric dryers. This means you save more time and energy with gas dryers. 

Gentle on Clothes. The built-in moisture sensor of gas dryers prevents over-drying while saving energy. This preserves the color, elasticity, and fiber durability of your clothes. 

In addition, gas dryers do not need to tumble as much to achieve dryness, compared to electric dryers that will require double revolutions, which can damage the cloth in the process. 

Lower Costs in the Long Run. The energy efficiency of gas dryers is a major factor in reducing costs. Aside from lower operating costs, the lesser damage on your garments means you don’t have to purchase new clothes now and then. 

Though take note that offsetting your startup costs for a gas dryer can take several years depending on your gas dryer model, local gas, and electricity prices. 

No issues with Grounding. Homes built before the year 2000 typically have two hot slots and one neutral ground slot. The newer dryer receptacles separate the neutral and ground. 

You can change the dyer cord to match, but doing this can pose dangerous risks if done as a DIY.  

Cons

High Installation Costs. Aside from the need for having a professional installer, gas dryers are usually more expensive than electric dryers. Also, a qualified technician is required for the maintenance and repair of gas dryers. 

If you don’t have a gas hookup line, then you’ll need to spend on piping construction as well. 

Electric Dryer Pros and Cons

Electric dryer in classic white laundry room interior Electric dryers operate by using electric current to heat the coils where they create resistance. The heat generated is then transferred by the surrounding air and blown by a fan throughout the dryer. 

 Pros 

  • Can be installed anywhere
  • Can be a quick DIY installation
  • Lower startup costs 
  • Continued advancements 
  • Option for a ventless electric model

Cons 

  • Higher operations costs 
  • Takes longer to dry
  • Needs a 240-volt electrical outlet 
  • Grounding Issues 

Pros: 

Low Startup Costs. This is probably the most attractive feature, perfect for homeowners who want to install dryers as soon as possible. Setting up a gas dryer will cost you more, especially if you don’t have a natural gas hookup in your neighborhood. 

Typically, there’s an additional fee for this added feature charged by the utility company and another added fee to secure a safe connection. Electric dryers are also cheaper and easier to repair than gas dryers. 

Moreover, it can be installed by anyone who has a fair amount of experience in electrical wiring and electrical dryer installation.

It is Possible to Install Anywhere. There’s less hassle in relocating or installing a brand-new electric dryer anywhere in your home as you don’t need a gas line to operate. Instead, you can use an adapter or swap out your power cord whether you have a three-prong or four-prong outlet. 

Unless you have a ventless electric dryer, you’ll also need to consider your vent attachment just like a gas dryer requires. 

More Models to Choose From. More model versions mean a wider price range and features. From basic models such as one heat setting to premium brands, you can choose the best dryer dimensions or size, design, and other features that best fit your needs. 

 Cons: 

Slower Drying Time. Compared to gas dryers, typical electrical dryers are slower to heat up and thus slower to dry up clothes. 

Potential to Damage Fabric. As garments are subjected to heat, this can potentially damage the structural integrity of your fabric, depending on the duration. The color can also fade from the high heat exposure. 

 High-Cost Operations. Since it takes more time to dry clothes, expect higher electric consumption. So, if you have a large household, an electric dryer may not be the most cost-efficient choice you can consider. 

 Grounding Issues. The electric-operated equipment needs to be connected with a ground wire to prevent current from flowing through the electric dryer and affect anyone who touches the dryer. This is because National Electrical Code requires dryers to be grounded.

Gas vs Electric Dryers Cost

There are four aspects to consider when it comes to your cost: 

  • Initial Cost 
  • Installation Costs 
  • Operational Costs 
  • Maintenance and Repair Costs

Initial Cost. Assuming the same quality and style, a gas dryer will cost about $100 more than an electric dryer. This amount can increase up to around $1000 for premium and new gas model dryers. 

Other features such as a ventless electric dryer may also increase its price, which normally costs $75 to $125 than its vented counterpart. 

Installation Costs. Gas dryers usually have a higher installation cost relative to electric dryers due to the need for a gas line installation. If you have an existing gas line, you’ll still need a professional installer to ensure no gas leaks or other technical issues will occur.

Normally, a licensed plumber would cost you about $75 to $225 per hour.

Meanwhile, for an electric dryer, you still need a licensed electrician to install a 240-volt outlet if you don’t have one at home. But besides that, electric dryers are ready to plug in and hook up on a vent. 

Operational Costs. Taking the bulk of your expenses is the operational costs. Although it incurs during your use, it should be much considered when you are on the lookout for dryer equipment.

A gas dryer is cheaper to operate between the two types but will still depend on the gas prices in your area.

Maintenance and Repair Costs. Unlike an electric dryer, which can be serviced by anyone who has good knowledge of electrical wiring, you’ll need a licensed technician to do repairs or maintenance on a gas dryer. 

On top of this, you’ll also need to consider the cost of parts which might also pose a problem for gas dryer parts since they are not readily available in some regions. 

Gas vs Electric Dryers Safety

Man cleaning dryer filter Every year, the United States Fire Administration records around 15,600 structure fires, 400 injuries, and 15 deaths due to dryer fires. Hence, whether you decide on a gas dryer or electric dryer, correct installation, regular maintenance, and other measures should always be observed. 

Which also begs the question, between gas and electric dryer, which is safer? 

Essentially, both pose safety hazards when proper installation and prevention are not observed, but these two dryers can equally have two potential hazards: 

For gas dryers, there is the possibility of gas leakage that can cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Moreover, the gas can cause an ignition or explosion, which is why homeowners should always make sure to have a well-ventilated laundry area like a basement laundry room, for instance. 

Whereas for electric dryers, the risks involve fire or electrocution due to faulty wiring or improper installation. However, there is a low potential risk as long as proper precautions are met.

Are Gas or Electric Dryers Better?

So, in this guide to the gas vs electric dryers pros and cons, have we determined which is better?

The short answer to this is it depends. 

Gas dryers are great if: 

  • You have an existing gas hookup line. 
  • You’re planning to stay in your property for around five years or more. 
  • You aim to have a dryer with lower operational costs. 
  • You have a 120-volt electrical outlet. 

Electrical dryers are great if: 

  • You don’t have a gas hookup. 
  • You have a 240-volt electrical outlet. 
  • You plan to leave the property in less than five years. 

what do you think about these gas vs electric dryers pros and cons? Is there anything we missed, if so let us know. Check out this article on laundry room paint colors for more related content.

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