Gas-burning dryers produce higher heat more quickly than electric dryers, so clothes dry more efficiently and less damage is done to fabrics. This operational efficiency confers economic benefits over electric dryers.
Natural gas, used by gas-burning clothes dryers, is cheaper than electricity to deliver into a residence. Additionally, gas dryers are generally more energy-efficient than electric dryers. Although gas dryers operate by burning natural gas, they are safer than their electric counterparts and less likely to cause a fire from lint igniting.
Electric dryers, however, do have several major advantages over gas dryers. They are typically cheaper; the price range for gas dryers is between $350 and $1,600 as of February 2015, while electric dryers range from $250 to $1,500. Gas dryers also require a gas line, which can cost up to $600 for installation in 2015. This gas line, along with the dryer vent, also means that gas dryers take up significantly more room than electric dryers.
As a counterpoint, electric dryers typically require 240-volt electrical service. Since most residences have 110-volt service, the cost of an upgrade can add to the price of an electric model.
Another cost factor is that gas dryers, which have more subsystems, are more expensive to maintain than electric dryers. The pilot light and burner system of a gas dryer are commonly the first mechanisms that require repair.