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Gas vs. Electric Dryers: Which Fuel Should You Choose?

Electric dryers vs. gas: choosing between the two fuels might seem easy, but it's important to determine which is best for your laundry room.

Getting Started

When shopping for new laundry appliances, the choices seem endless. Simply choosing a dryer alone, which offers fewer cycle options than its washer counterpart, can be overwhelming. From deciding between vented or ventless to choosing a size capacity, there are tons of features to consider, and they're not all easy to understand. Even professional laundromats have to choose between what types of commercial dryers they'll use.
But when you're finally picking out your laundry room's appliances, there is one decision that's more crucial than any other: choosing an electric dryer versus a gas version. Let's take a look at the main differences between these fuel types to determine which is best for your home and family's lifestyle.
Laundry Room with Silver Washer and Dryer

The Main Differences

When it comes to an electric dryer vs. a gas model, there are a few variables that set them apart:
  • Installation and Features
  • Energy Consumption
  • Clothing Treatment
  • Purchase and Energy Costs

Installation and Features

Before you begin shopping, you should verify which connection your home currently has. Take a look at Abt's dryer buying guide to understand your connections, as this alone may determine whether you purchase a gas or electric dryer. If you're just hoping for a simple replacement, you'll find your answer right there at the end of your connection. These appliances aren't compatible with conversion kits, so you'll need to purchase the corresponding fuel type you have in your home.
If you're renovating a home or building a laundry room from scratch, you've got more choices at your disposal and can truly make the choice of an electric dryer vs. gas. Electric are much easier to install, plugging in like any standard appliance right out of the box. But they typically operate on a 240-volt current, which you probably won't have if your previous one was a gas model. Be sure you have a professional electrician install one of these outlets if electric is your fuel type of choice.
With gas, the installation will be costly. Even if you already have a gas line connection, a professional install is advised, which increases the upfront cost. Gas models can be fueled by natural gas or liquid propane. They also need to be vented outside, while you do have the option of ventless electric versions.

Energy Consumption

When it comes to energy consumption, gas use is much more efficient. The gas combusts and instantly heats the chambers, which means no energy is lost in the process. Gas dryers tend to be slightly more expensive than their electric counterparts, so their energy efficiency will offset the initial upfront cost.
Electric models, on the other hand, have to convert the power into heat, which means you lose that energy. The only occasion in which one of these dryers would be more energy efficient is if your fuel is generated through home solar panels or a solar or wind farm.
However, you can decide to purchase an Energy Star-certified dryer, which is guaranteed to use approximately 20 percent less energy. Appliances with the Energy Star label offer more advanced features, such as sensor drying, pilotless ignition, automatic shutoff and a cool-down cycle that tumbles without heat to keep clothes from wrinkling. If an Energy Star-certified laundry appliance is on your shopping list, be sure to shop our entire catalog of Energy Star products.
Towels coming out of open dryer

Clothing Treatment

As mentioned, Energy Star-certified versions offer features like sensor drying, which can prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your clothes. Through a moisture-sensing device, it can automatically shut off when your clothes reach the desired dryness.
But Energy Star labels aside, gas models tend to dry loads much faster and this, in turn, means less tumbling and wear on your clothes. They're also generally more gentle on materials because they can work at more accurate temperatures, evaporating moisture as needed.
Electric dryers are less ideal when it comes to wear and tear on your clothes—that's all because they take longer to heat. In the battle of electic dryers vs gas, gas versions win when it comes to gentle clothing treatment.

Purchase and Energy Costs

As you shop laundry appliances, you may notice that each model offers one of both fuel types. Gas dryers typically have a higher purchase cost, ranging from $50-$100 more than their electric counterparts. The mechanical components are more costly, which drives the price up.
In general, electric dryers are more affordable. However, you can still come across a high-end version with a similar cost to that of a gas model. But it will come with all the bells and whistles you could ever want from a luandry appliance, such as smart technology or Wi-Fi connectivity.
In the long run, gas dryers have a higher upfront purchase cost. But as mentioned, they dry faster, which means more energy savings.

Gas vs. Electric Dryer: Which Should I Choose?

Is My Dryer Gas Or Electric? Video
Is My Dryer Gas Or Electric?
Is My Dryer Gas Or Electric? Video Is My Dryer Gas Or Electric? Video
Still have a question?
The fact is, you may not have a choice in the matter. It could simply come down to what connections you have in the laundry room. However, some homes have both gas and a 240-volt electrical connection, which opens up many more brands and options.
Electric dryers vs. gas: What's the answer? Ultimately it truly comes down to your home's needs, budget and the features you prefer. Once you check out our dryer buying guide mentioned above, take a look at some of our most popular options to explore your options. If you still have questions after reading our guides, give our appliance experts a call at 800-860-3577 for guidance.

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