Gas vs Electric Dryer | Essential Comparison Guide

When it comes to dryers, gas and electric options are both still widely available and popular with buyers. So, what makes one better than the other?

In the gas vs electric dryer debate, gas dryers stand out as the more efficient option. They still rely on electricity, but burning gas produces heat much faster and at higher temperatures. As a result, clothes dry much faster. Electric dryers are less efficient than gas models, but they offer plenty more convenience. You don’t need any gas to run an electric dryer, just an electrical connection.

In the following sections, we will take a detailed look into the differences that separate gas dryers from electric ones. Then, as you read to the end, you’ll understand which option will suit you best.

Gas Vs Electric Dryer: Which Is More Dangerous?

No, gas dryers are not necessarily more dangerous than electric models, as long as they are installed by qualified professionals. 

Gas dryers are connected to the household’s gas line, which does pose some unique risks you won’t experience with an electric dryer.

Firstly, gas dryers are at risk of a gas leak, leading to a fire or even an explosion.

Second, this kind of dryer burns that gas to generate heat, and a leak could cause carbon monoxide to flow out into the rest of the household.

However, modern gas dryers are built to be incredibly safe. So, the risks mentioned above are improbable.

The only catch is that gas dryers must be installed by a qualified professional who can prevent these risks from becoming a reality.

So, installing a gas dryer yourself or getting a friend to do it as a DIY project is out of the question.

Just like electric dryers, gas dryers also pose a fire risk if not used and maintained correctly.

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gas vs electric dryer fire risk

So, you must clean the lint filter and vent hose regularly while also avoiding overloading the drum with too many items at once.

Which Type Of Dryer Is More Efficient?

The efficiency of a dryer is measured by how quickly it can heat up and dry the clothes inside.

So, when comparing gas and electric dryers, it’s clear that gas models are much more efficient when it comes to drying your freshly laundered clothes.

As the name suggests, electric dryers heat up by using electricity. To be exact, it draws on electricity through its heating element, which raises the temperature to dry the clothes tumbling inside.

Gas dryers, on the other hand, work by burning gas inside the appliance to generate heat.

Burning gas is a much more efficient method of generating heat. Firstly, the air inside the dryer heats up much quicker with gas when compared to electric heating elements.

On top of that, gas also burns much hotter as well. So, the higher temperatures inside a gas dryer will remove moisture from your clothes much quicker and minimize the time needed to complete a drying cycle.

How Much Does A Gas Dryer Save Over Electric?

You can expect to enjoy savings of approximately $40 per year when using a gas dryer instead of an electric model.

Sure, gas dryers typically cost more upfront to purchase compared to electric models. 85

However, you’ll enjoy loads of savings when using the gas dryer, which will add up quickly and make up for the higher price tag you paid for the machine.

How does a gas dryer provide you with those savings? Well, those savings are the result of the increased efficiency of gas dryers. Remember: gas dryers heat up quicker and run much hotter.

So, the laundry inside will dry much quicker in a gas dryer, thereby reducing the overall time that the dryer needs to be switched on.

How Long Do Gas Dryers Last?

You can expect a gas dryer to last an average of 13 years. But, of course, that’s just an average. Some people have gas dryers that last even longer, while others have units that cease to work after just a couple of years.

The difference will depend on how well you operate and maintain the gas dryer. 

Proper Usage

Gas dryers have a maximum capacity that you should never exceed. Dryer manufacturers would have included this information in the user manual, which you should always follow.

Suppose a user continually overloads their dryer. If that’s the case, then the dryer’s parts will experience wear and tear at a much higher rate, and the overall lifespan will be reduced.

On the other hand, someone who follows the maximum capacity and maintains the gas dryer could see the machine lasting longer than the average 13-year lifespan.

Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance will also help you maximize the lifespan of a gas dryer. That includes minor tasks, like cleaning the lint filter and vents regularly. Plus, if there is ever a need for repairs, it’s best to get a professional to do it while using only the best spare parts available.

In doing so, the gas dryer is likely to last well beyond the average gas dryer lifespan.

dryer lint trap

Do Gas Dryers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

No, gas dryers do not use a lot of electricity. Most of the power is used by the dryer’s motor, which is 1/4 HP or 186 Watts. If you run a gas dryer every day for 1.5 hours, it will consume only 8.37 kiloWatts of electricity per month.

Even though gas dryers still require electric power, they only use them for very basic functions. That includes turning the drum, powering the lights and controls, and spinning the fan to force hot air through the drum.

Gas dryers generate heat by burning gas. So, gas dryers use significantly less electricity than an electric dryer model without the need to power up any heating elements.

dryer power consumption
Gas Dryer Power Consumption

Are New Electric Dryers More Efficient?

Yes, new electric dryers are more efficient than older ones.

Dryer manufacturers understand that customers are always looking for the most efficient appliances available. So, brands that produce electric dryers continually innovate to produce increasingly efficient models, using less energy to perform the same tasks.

Energy Standards and Ratings

Competitive dryer brands tend to design their appliances following the latest energy efficiency standards set by the relevant government bodies. They do this to earn ratings and labels that they can display on their dryers to attract more discerning buyers.

One leading example is the Energy Star rating. Customers know that when they purchase a newer home appliance with an Energy Star label (including the latest electric dryers), they’re choosing from one of the most energy-efficient options available. 

energy star

New and Innovative Features

Besides earning energy efficiency labels for their appliances, leading electric dryer brands also compete for buyers with new and innovative features. 

For instance, moisture sensors are now a standard feature in many newer electric dryer models. These sensors will shorten or lengthen the drying cycle depending on the needs of any particular load of laundry.

As a result, the dryer becomes more efficient because it will not waste any energy once it senses that the clothes inside are already dry.

What Can Go Wrong With A Gas Dryer?

Gas dryers are similar to electric models in that they could potentially pose a fire risk. The likelihood of fire increases when the lint trap and vent hose isn’t cleaned regularly.

When that happens, the dryer and its vent can overheat, igniting the buildup of lint and causing a house fire.

However, gas dryers also pose two unique risks that electric models do not. 

Potential Gas Leak

Firstly, there’s always a slight possibility of a gas leak. That’s because gas dryers are connected directly to your household’s gas line. If a gas leak was to occur, it could lead to a potential fire or explosion.

Potential Carbon Monoxide Leak

Besides that, gas dryers also come with the possibility of emitting carbon monoxide, which could cause fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.

Still, it’s crucial to understand that the likelihood of things going wrong with a gas dryer is low, as long as the appliance was installed by a qualified technician. The same is also valid with regular dryer cleaning and maintenance.

Never underestimate the importance of cleaning the gas dryer’s lint filter and vent hose. Not only do these parts prevent fires from happening, but a vent hose is also crucial for preventing any leaking gas and carbon monoxide from building up inside your home.

Install Detectors For Added Safety

If you’re worried about the safety of a gas dryer in your home, there are additional steps that you can take to gain peace of mind. However, the most crucial step you should take is to install detectors near your gas dryer.

Smoke, gas, and carbon monoxide detectors can offer you plenty of peace of mind. Plus, you can also buy combination detectors to sense all three of those elements in a single unit. 

By installing a detector in your laundry room, you’ll be quickly alerted if there’s ever a gas or carbon monoxide leak. Then, even if you were asleep, you’d be able to wake up and respond quickly to prevent anything terrible from happening.

What Brand Of Gas Dryer Is Most Reliable?

The most reliable gas dryer brands available today include:

  • GE (American)
  • Frigidaire (American)
  • Whirlpool (American)
  • LG (South Korean)

Do Electric Dryers Emit Carbon Monoxide?

No, electric dryers do not emit any carbon monoxide at all. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning gas, which does not happen in electric dryers. 

On the other hand, gas dryers do burn gas to produce heat and emit carbon monoxide. However, this is not a cause for concern.

As long as the dryer’s vents are cleaned regularly, any carbon monoxide emitted by the machine will flow out of the house and pose no danger to the occupants.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Dryer For 1 Hour?

You can expect to pay anywhere from 24-72 cents to run an electric dryer for just one hour. The reason for that broad price range is that dryers come in various wattages, so some use more electricity than others.

In other words, some electric dryers run hotter than others and therefore require more electricity to function.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Gas Dryer For 1 Hour?

Gas dryers still require electricity, but they don’t rely on it as much as electric versions do. 

For starters, these kinds of dryers burn gas to generate heat inside the unit. So, they only rely on a low amount of electricity to power the controls, turn the drum, and perform other minor tasks.

As a result, gas dryers use three times less electricity than electric models.

Should I Buy An Energy Star Dryer?

Yes, you should always buy an Energy Star dryer.

Many people make the mistake of assuming that the Energy Star label makes a dryer more expensive. That’s not true at all.

These days, there are more Energy Star dryers than those without the label. What’s more, there’s little or no price difference between those with or without the label.

Still, the main reason you should buy an Energy Star dryer is that it will save you plenty of money in the long run.

According to criteria set by the Energy Star program, dryers with these labels are designed to be as efficient as possible according to criteria set by Energy Star program.

So, when you purchase a dryer that has earned the Energy Star label, you can rest assured that you’re going home with one of the most efficient models the market has to offer.

What Should I Look For When Buying A Dryer?

Here are four quick qualities you should look for when buying a dryer.

Dryer Capacity

It’s always more efficient to buy a dryer with a capacity that matches your washing machine. That way, you can transfer your fresh laundry straight to the dryer without having to dry them in separate loads.

Dryer Cycles

Most dryers will have the same basic cycles. However, they’ll differ from one another with unique cycles tailored to specific needs. Whatever your needs are, be sure that the dryer you choose has the cycles that you’ll find helpful.

Special Features

To get the most value for your money, be sure also to identify and compare the dryers’ unique features. For instance, some dryers offer special sanitizing and steaming features that others might not.

Warranty and After-Sales Support

For added peace of mind, choose a dryer with excellent warranty coverage and after-sales support. Buying a dryer is fun, but it’s no fun struggling to find help if you ever run into problems with it.

Related: Gas Vs Electric Stove – Monthly Cost Comparison

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