Dryer: Changing from gas to electric?

dan_no_9January 13, 2012


Wondering what the experiences of folks who have changed their dryer from gas to electric have been - in particular efficiency: their electric bills and how different the performance is, better or worse.

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I have both setup in my house and the gas dryer is gentler than my electric. As for speed, the electric wins because it's in a warm room and the gas dryer is in the garage so it takes a little longer. Both will get the job done but you must find out which one is cost effecient to run!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:08AM
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Yes, that's primarily what I'm wondering - about the efficiency.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 10:57AM
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I changed from gas to electric about 6 months back. I really have not noticed a hike in my electric bill. I live in california, also i noticed that the electric heat is more a "dry" heat and the clothes seem to get done a little faster than with a gas dryer, just from my experiance though. Also when i went to the city, where i pay electric bills, they said new electric dryers are not like the electric dryers of the past. As mine has sensor dry, which i always use, so that i don't over use the electricity when i dry. I really like the electric so far!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 12:02PM
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I've tried both gas and electric dryers, and in my opinion...electric wins every time. Electric dryers are quieter, make me feel safer not knowing a huge blow torch is heating air to dry my clothes and our electric bill did not change much at all, when we switched from gas to electric. Also, the electric dryer seems gentler and much more even! Clothes are dry, but never over dried, or ever heated!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 10:37AM
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I prefer electric, though I rarely use any dryer at all.

Gas-dried clothes always smell to me, as is natural since they are tumbled in the exhaust stream of the combustion air. Ick!

Depending on your electric rates, you may or may not see a bump in your power bill. My small condenser dryer costs about 42 cents per load to run, or about 2 to 2.5 times the energy cost of washing the clothes even though I use washing machines with hefty internal heaters that heat my tap cold (50F) water to 140-195F during the wash phase. Our rate is 15 cents per KWH.



1 Like    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Wow, everyone complaining about gas but not giving a correct answer on efficiency!
Wassup with this?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Electric vs Gas

All dryers use a small electric motor to turn a large drum that tumbles the clothes placed inside it. All of them have an electric fan, which distributes heated air. There are however, two ways to create the heat needed to efficiently dry clothes - using either gas or electricity.

Electric dryers use heating coils to supply heat. Most electric dryers operate on 240-volt current, twice the strength of ordinary household current. If your laundry area is not equipped with a 240-volt outlet, you must have one installed.

Gas dryers use a gas burner to create heat, but otherwise they operate the same as an electric dryer. Your laundry room must have a gas hookup, with proper connections and safe venting of the gas's exhaust, in addition to an electrical outlet.

The connections you have in your laundry room will probably dictate which style you use. If you have both gas and 240-volt connections, consider that gas dryers cost more to begin with - approximately $50 more than the comparable electric model. But in most areas gas dryers will cost less to run over their lifetime. Generally speaking, the cost of electricity needed to dry a typical load of laundry is 30 to 40 cents, compared to 15 to 20 cents if you use gas.

The energy efficiency of a clothes dryer is measured by a term called the energy factor. It's a rating somewhat similar to miles per gallon for a car - but in this case, the measure is pounds of clothing per kilowatt-hour of electricity. The minimum energy factor for a standard capacity electric dryer is 3.01. For gas dryers, the minimum energy factor is 2.67, and, yes, the rating for gas dryers is provided in kilowatt-hours, even though the primary source of fuel is natural gas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cali info rates

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:46AM
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By a little research, gas is more efficient than electric and the catch is for you to check your power and gas company for rates which may help determine your answer!

Use charts to get an estimate on costs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Taking action for proper info

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Thanks for those links, they're really useful.

I decided to stay w/ gas. It was time to replace, and I found a couple great deals on used Meile and Bosch sets, but some of them were 220v machines so I thought of making the change.

But out of 6 electricians I called only one returned the call and showed up, and he couldn't do it til next month, so... I bought a used Bosch set w/ a gas dryer.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I don't understand this?

I had done my research here for washer n dryer and got the gas dryer as i had read in dozens of posts how gas dryer was quicker to dry clothes and it was a better/delicate heat for the clothes...

Now i read everyone has changed teams?

What gives?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 7:45PM
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Any comments should i push to change my gas to electric dryer?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Found this information from a Canadian site.

"Gas dryers are available in different capacities, with gas burners ranging in output between 5.3 kW and 8.8 kW (18,000 and 30,000 BTU/h). Electric dryers have heaters ranging up to about 5.6 kW, a limit related to the capacity of the electric supply circuit to the dryer. The higher capacity gas models are faster than electric models, resulting in shorter drying times. Gas dryers produce hot air with more moisture than electric heaters, and are claimed to produce less wrinkling or to de-wrinkle some fabrics more effectively than electric dryers. As far as generation of static electricity is concerned, there appears to be little difference between electric and gas dryers, since it is the friction between fabrics tumbling during the cool-down portion of the cycle that produces static electricity, and this portion of the cycle does not make use of the heat sources."

Here is a link that might be useful: gas or electric??

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 4:34PM
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"claimed to produce less wrinkling"

I believe this is because a gas dryer is like a gas stove. Immediately off. The electric element must cool down slowly. Therefore when clothes stop tumbling the extra heat still in an electric dryer will allow wrinkles to set more.

"static electricity"

I have always read that the moist air in the gas dryer helps to diminish static cling. As you know, when it is very dry, more static is produced (just like in your own home).

The moist air of a gas dryer is also better for fabrics.

I'm sure you'll get many opinions here but I switched to gas 10 years ago on the advice of friends (who build custom homes) and I've never regretted it.

I almost never have static cling (FWIW). I use very little to no fabric softener and my things are never stiff or scratchy.

From SaskEnergy:
"Your natural gas dryer offers faster drying than conventional electric units because a greater volume of dry, absorbent air passes through the clothes. A natural gas dryer heats up instantly to full temperature with clean, moist heat that actually reduces wrinkles and static. Gentle, moist heat means less need for fabric softeners. Best of all, natural gas dryers operate at about half the cost of electric dryers."

Here is a link that might be useful: gas dryer

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 4:57PM
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@chloe45: thanks for the link the elux have a 22000 btu output.

@livebetter: thanks for the vote of confidence. I remember you had input in the elux thread and thats why this thread everyone recommending electric over gas has me very confused.

I also am not going to use "dryer sheets" in my new set so gas would help.

What about smell of "gas" in clothes? i am assuming that should not be the case at all as few of mentioned in this thread.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 5:52PM
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"What about smell of "gas" in clothes?"

None at all.

I can also tell you - my dryer vent came off the back of my Miele 4 separate times. Install issue which has finally (thank goodness) been resolved.

I had to finish drying loads each time that were in there. So full exhaust blowing into my laundry room. I have a carbon monoxide detector in that room and it never went off or even registered a spike in carbon monoxide. I could not smell anything either. Other than the smell of wet laundry drying.

I was told by a builder friend that these machines run very clean so not much to worry about.

I had a Frigidaire gas dryer for 10 years before the Miele; first installed in my kitchen laundry room which later got moved to my new basement laundry room. Now the Miele. No issues at all.

This is an interesting tidbit gleaned from the Web,

"Another gas appliance whose efficiency is often forgotten is the clothes dryer. Because natural gas dryers dry faster for less they are the primary choice of those who do a lot of laundry (hotels, hospitals, and laundromats). In addition to being more productive and profitable for the companies, these businesses also help our environment by using natural gas. Natural gas dryers use nearly two times less energy than electric dryers and emit nearly two times less CO2. If commercial businesses choose natural gas, don't you think you should too?"

I will note that many of the positive comments are from gas companies :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2012 at 8:19PM
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@livebetter: thanks for the vote of confidence (from your own experience).

I just threw my arms up in the air when i read a stream of people recommending and saying they preferred elec over gas.

For gas there is a bigger initial cost but if it dries quicker i will see the cost back sooner than later.

I'd still like to hear why others feel/think/beleive the elec dryer is better than gas?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:54PM
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Jmith, I have always had a gas dryer so I can't really compare it to electric.
You can drive yourself nuts reading this board or any board.

Everyone has a different opinion and everyone is an expert and sometimes those experts change their mind. LOL

Like livebetter, I have almost no static in my clothes and I don't use fabric softener. I think I had a little more static when I had a top loader washer. I wonder if somehow detergent residue in my clothes may have contributed to the static.
No odor of gas.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 8:48AM
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@chloe45: thanks for the input. Cheers!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 11:09PM
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thanks for the input i have used my dryer 2 times now one with towels and another mixed shirt/underwear load.

The gas dryer is infinitely gentle on my clothes than my previous electric one.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 3:04AM
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jmith, is your dryer quiet or does is has that whistle like sound because of the high mass air volume?

Off Topic:
Since I've been going through Chemo treatments, my nasil passages are WIDE OPEN!
I do not use any scented detergents or fabric softeners at this time, upto two weeks after treaments and I use my electric dryer more since I can smell the Mercaptan in my clothing when using the gas dryer. So in the meantime, I dry my laundry late at night in the electric dryer and always use the auto dry to further lower energy costs.
BTW, I'm doing well after 6 treatment and fatique is the only side effect so far! :-))

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 4:24PM
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@cleanteamofny: My gas dryer is not silent like the washer but has a general hum of the gas burners i am assuming. It does not have a whistle, as per the posts here i have never used the dryer sheets in the new dryer and the clothes come out smelling fresh without the use of heavy scents from dryer sheet -- and no static.

Sorry to hear about chemo treatment. Hope everything turns out well.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Thanks for the update jmith, so the lux team must have modified either the fan or the dimension of exhaust hose. :-))

Chemo is doing me fine, no major side effects but chronic fatigue and hair loss.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 1:24PM
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@cleanteamofny: My installer wanted to use a flexible vent tube for the gas dryer and i was insistent he used solid vent... i had to buy the solid vents so he use flexible vent from dryer to about 2 ft to the solid and it was sealed on all joins/elbows.

If you have a whistle you may have a leak of exhaust somewhere can you check by using a tissue paper near all the joins/seams to see?

Nods re: chemo. i meant everything turns out fine in the long run.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 4:04PM
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I have two electric dryers, two different mfr. One is at sea level and the other at 6400 ft in the mountains. Neither one dries clothes completely the first time through. I have to run two cycles (actually 1 1/2) on both of them to get clothes dry. They are both about 10 years old but they have been this way since the beginning. Sensor has never worked efficiently in either one.

Have plans to get a gas dryer for the mountain house in near future.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 4:44AM
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I'll believe that gas is gentler than electric, or vice versa, if someone compares the gas and electric versions of the same dryer, with the same temperature control and cycle termination logic.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 9:55PM
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Kristin Pingree

I've always had electric and not had any complaints. Gas appliances in general are just one more thing for me to worry about, in my experience (pilot light, gas lines being plumbed, etc.). I love that if something falls behind my dryer, I can unplug and simply move it b/c it's not hooked up to any gas line. I live in WA where we have the cheapest electricity rates in the country, so I find it cheaper to run an electric dryer. Unless I were in CA or a state with very high electric costs, I would stick with electric.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Hang on for a few more months and you'll have a third choice.

There are new dryers being introduced in the US that are heat pump based. They produce the heat using an electric heat pump in lieu of a burner (gas) or a coil/element (electric). They are said to be more energy efficient that either standard electric dryers or even Gas dryers in many areas where natural gas prices are going up fairly fast.. If you happen to have propane in lieu of natural gas, these heat pump dryers cost almost NOTHING to run compared to propane. We have friends in the UK who now have a new Miele Heat Pump dryer and she raves about it. The UK has very high priced electricity.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 4:03AM
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OP, do you know how utility rates (gas v. electric) compare in your area?

Gas rates USED to be cheaper in my state until gas companies were deregulated. After that, gas prices went way up, and electricity is now much cheaper!

My present home is total electric. Before this I lived in other homes in which dryers were powered by gas. I can honestly tell you that my electric dryers here have always been just as gentle on clothes.

In fact, some gas dryers I used when my husband was in the military were harder on clothes than my electric dryers here have been.

So, IMHO, there's no automatic advantage to either one. For me, utility rates would be the main consideration.

After that, the type of dryer -- I would not have one which did not have sensors to prevent over-drying. My present dryer also has cool-down in every cycle, and all laundry comes out wrinkle-free.

(I know you only mentioned clothes dryers, but I did want to mention that the gentlest drying of all is air-drying.)

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 5:14AM
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Mara, all dryers have had cool-downs on the cycles as a standard feature for many years. So-called normal/cotton cycles typically have a shorter cool-down period (5 mins) than Perm Press cycles (usually 10 mins).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Dryer technology really has been improved -- my Whirlpool Cabrio dryer cools down as the load dries, not just for a fixed time at the end of the cycle.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Kenmore had Soft Heat on numerous of their models in the 1960s+ ... heat output throttled down as the load progressed toward dryness.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 11:54AM
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The house that I moved into has a gas hook up for the dryer and yeah it is more expensive for a gas dryer, but also in California you have to have your dryer (if it's gas) you have to have it elevated from off the ground which is fine cause those little drawers that you can buy lifts it to the approximate level, but the issue for me is that it doesn't really hold much in them, so it's like $200 extra for nothing. At least with an Electric one you don't have to worry about the elevation, but I'm going to call SDG&E and find out for sure. I'm going to get solar panels anyways so possibly electrical might be better.

    Bookmark   Yesterday at 2:33PM
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The most efficient dryer available are condenser or heat pump electric units because they do not remove conditioned air from the home. The amount of energy actually consumed by a dryer is small, the huge inefficiency comes from removal of conditioned air.

    Bookmark   19 hours ago
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