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Difference Between Electric and Gas Dryers

Are you in the market for a new home dryer? To make your laundry day more convenient, selecting the right dryer is crucial. One of the initial decisions you’ll face is choosing between a gas dryer and an electric dryer. While both serve the same purpose, they differ in energy sources and operation mechanisms.

Here’s a detailed comparison between electric and gas dryers to help you decide which one’s better.

What is an electric dryer?

Electricity is the main source of power for an electric dryer. Heating elements that are powered by electricity are used to produce hot air, which is then circulated through the drum in order to dry the garments. It attaches to the conventional electrical socket that operates at 240 volts.

You are able to set drying times, select particular cycles, and alter temperature settings with electric dryers because they come equipped with a control panel. They are typically simpler to install than gas dryers, although the drying time for garments may be a little bit longer with these dryers.

What is a gas dryer?

In contrast, gas dryers use natural gas or propane to generate heat and electricity and dry wet laundry. The key components include a gas burner, a heat exchanger, a thermostat, and an exhaust system.

Similar to electric dryers, gas dryers have a control panel for setting drying times, choosing specific cycles, and adjusting temperature settings. Wet clothes are placed in the drum, which rotates during the drying cycle to ensure even exposure to heated air, powered by the motor.

Installing a gas dryer involves connecting it to a natural gas line or propane tank. Professional installation is often recommended for a secure and safe connection.

Difference between Gas and Electric Dryers

Resource of Energy

Electrical dryers are powered by electricity and can be plugged into a conventional electrical outlet to obtain power. An outlet that operates at 240 volts is all that is required, and you are ready to go. On the other hand, gas dryers either use natural gas or propane and require either a gas connection or a propane tank to function properly. Standard 110/115-volt outlets are the ones that they plug into.

The Mechanism of Heating

For the purpose of warming the air that is cycled inside the dryer, electric dryers make use of heating elements that generate heat through the process of electrical resistance. Alternatively, gas dryers are equipped with a burner that ignites natural gas or propane, resulting in the production of a flame. After that, the heat that is generated by this flame is transmitted to the air that is moving through a heat exchanger.

Because they require only a specific electrical outlet, electric dryers are typically simpler to set up than their gas counterparts. But gas dryers need to be connected to either a gas line or a propane tank in order to function properly. For a connection that is both secure and safe, it is frequently recommended to have it professionally installed.

Getting dry

In terms of drying times, gas dryers are more efficient than electric dryers. When compared to electric heating elements, the combustion process in gas dryers heats the air at a faster rate, which could potentially result in the drying of textiles occurring more quickly. Compared to electric dryers, the former dryers dry loads in approximately half the amount of time and with significantly less static cling.

Costs Related to Operation and Maintenance

There is a possibility that the cost of electricity will result in higher operating expenses over time, despite the fact that electric dryers typically have a lower initial cost. Gas dryers, on the other hand, may have a greater initial cost, but they may be more cost-effective to operate due to the normally cheaper cost of natural gas in comparison to the cost of electricity.

Gas vs. Electric Dryers: Comparison Chart


The best dryer for you will depend on your individual needs and priorities. If natural gas is significantly cheaper than electricity in your area, a gas dryer may be a more cost-effective choice in the long run. If you don’t have a gas line readily available or cannot vent a dryer to the outside, an electric dryer may be your only option. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each type before making a decision.


What is better, electric or gas dryer?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer! Both have their fair share of pros and cons. If you often need to dry clothes quickly, a gas dryer may be a better choice. However, if you prioritize features like steam cycles or ventless options, an electric dryer may be more suitable.

Can I use an electric dryer instead of gas?

Yes, but it depends on your laundry setup. An electric dryer needs a 240-volt outlet, which may require additional installation. It also needs proper venting outside, just like a gas dryer.

How do I know if the dryer is gas or electric?

Look for a gas line connection near the dryer. If it doesn’t have one, it’s probably electric. Check the manual or the manufacturer’s website for confirmation.

Do gas dryers need to be vented?

Absolutely! Gas dryers produce carbon monoxide, which is dangerous if not vented outside. Make sure your vent is properly installed and maintained.

What are the cons of a gas dryer?

Here are some cons of gas dryers:

  • Higher initial and installation costs. 
  • Professional maintenance is needed.
  • Carbon monoxide risk (proper venting is crucial). 
  • Fewer advanced features.

Does an electric dryer need to be vented?

Yes, they still need to vent moisture outside to prevent mold and mildew growth. Most electric dryers use vented exhaust, but some newer models offer ventless options.

Do electric dryers just plug in?

Yes, most electric dryers simply plug into a standard 120-volt outlet. However, some high-performance models require a 240-volt outlet, which may require additional wiring.

Can an electric dryer produce carbon monoxide?

No, electric dryers don’t use gas and therefore cannot produce carbon monoxide.

Is it OK to vent an electric dryer inside?

No, even electric dryers need to vent moisture outside. Venting inside can cause mold, mildew, and structural damage. Always use a proper vent to the outside.

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  1. You left out the most environmentally and economical option. Air drying either on a clothesline or on a clothes drying rack. I have not had a dryer for two years. Our clothes last longer now and we save almost 8% on our utility bill. It is surprising – most of the world does not use clothes dryers. Americans are just starting to go back to the natural way to dry.

  2. You forgot to mention that although electric sockets, plugs and extensions may be readily available, an electric dryer needs a dedicated 220v outlet, which unless you already have an electric dryer or an electric hot water heater, you probably don’t have anywhere in your house, and will need to have an electrician install from your electric panel.

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References :

[0]“Which is Better Electric or Gas Dryer?” Best Buy, www.bestbuy.com/discover-learn/gas-vs-electric-dryers-which-type-of-dryer-should-i-buy/pcmcat1654541036158. Accessed 27 Jan. 2024.

[1]“Gas vs. Electric Dryers.” The Home Depot, www.homedepot.com/c/ab/gas-vs-electric-dryers/. Accessed 27 Jan. 2024.

[2]Threewitt, Cherise. “Gas vs. Electric Dryers.” U.S. News, 6 Aug. 2021, www.usnews.com/360-reviews/home-goods/dryers/gas-vs-electric.

[3]Leverette, Mary M. “Gas vs. Electric Dryer Comparison Guide.” The Spruce, 19 Jan. 2024, www.thespruce.com/gas-dryer-vs-electric-dryer-2146251.

[4]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEE6AsJNOk-new-residential-frontload-washer-and-dryer/

[5]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAC9Iij0OZs-clothes-in-laundry-basket-with-washer-and-dryer/

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