What Are the Differences Between Gas and Electric Dryers?

Some ways gas and electric dryers differ include their method of heat generation, their installation requirements and their initial and ongoing costs. Drying speed is another difference, with gas dryers generally taking less time to dry a load of clothes than electric dryers.

The most obvious difference between gas and electric dryers is how they generate the heat required to dry a load of laundry. A gas dryer creates heat with a natural gas burner, and an electric dryer uses heating coils. This means one of the installation requirements for a gas dryer is a gas line to supply the gas for the burner. In addition, gas dryers require a vent to expel hot moisture-laden air from the dryer.

Electric dryers, while not needing a gas line, do need a 240 volt outlet to supply the necessary electricity. Many electric dryers, however, do not need to be vented.

The purchase price of gas dryers is usually higher than that of electric dryers, but the ongoing operating costs are lower. Not only is gas less expensive than electricity, but gas dryers are more energy efficient. Gas dryers take less time to heat up, and they run at higher temperatures, resulting in less drying time and energy savings of up to 50 percent.