Gas vs. Electric Clothes Dryer

By admin

Posted on July 12, 2011

Clothes dryers have become a necessary appliance in the American home. While the initial investment may be expensive, the cost of operation is relatively cheap when compared the cost of paying out of pocket at a laundromat or a laundry service.

Use of Electricity

Both types require electric service. While gas dryers heat with gas, the spinning chamber is powered by an electric motor, as is the dryer’s timer. The difference is that gas dryers can operate on a regular 20 ampere, 110-volt outlet. Gas dryers require a special 30-amp, 240-volt plug.


The major difference between the two dryers is their respective heating elements. Electric dryers use coils which get heated by electric power, whereas, gas dryers employ a burner, which heat the coils surrounding the spinning chamber. However, in both cases, fans channel the heated air into the drum, which spins to insure even drying.


Gas dryers are considered cheaper to run over their lifetime for two reasons. One, natural gas is typically cheaper than electricity in most municipalities. Secondly, gas dryers heat much quicker than their electric counterparts, translating to shorter drying cycles.


Electric dryers are typically cheaper to purchase due to their components. Electric dryers have less hardware than their gas brethren. Natural gas requires special fittings and burners must be installed, raising the equipment cost.

Energy Efficiency

Contrary to gas dryers that are cheaper to operate and use less energy, clothes dryers as an appliance are not energy efficient. Dryers use enormous amount of energy and none qualify for ENERGY STAR ratings.