LP or electric dryer- HELP!!

bebop86March 20, 2009

Did a search but still cannot decide- We have a elec dryer but just had a big propane tank installed for cooking- Our elec. is roughly .15 a KW and propane is about $4.50- My wife does ALOT of laundry and am thinking about switching to the Miele T9820 propane dryer- Our current dryer is a Fisher Paykel ( about 7-8 yrs old)- In the long haul do you think we are better off switching to a gas dryer- I am looking for a $$ savings in energy cost- Home expo has the Miele for about $800- thanks so much-

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One gallon of propane has energy content equal to 27 kWh of electricity, as per the link below. 27 kWh costs you $4.05, less than your current price for a gallon of propane. Also, the electricity is converted to heat with 100% efficiency, unlike gas. Bottom line, at current energy prices the gas dryer wouldn't save you money.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.propane101.com/propanevselectricity.htm

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:50AM
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As an additional reference source, I've used the fuel comparison link below with good success.

It may not be the perfect tool to answer your specific question but you can plug in specific parameters that mimic your situation and perhaps get close. It's focused on heating sources but you might use "other" in the drop-down menu and play with efficiency percentages to get into the right ballpark.

Long term it's anyone's guess when it comes to future pricing. In our neck of the woods it appears most propane stock is produced from oil sources as it's pricing seems to follow the same trend.

Here is a link that might be useful: buildinggreen.com fuel cost comparison

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Very seldom can you get an appliance to pay for itself. I laugh at people when they say FL washers will pay for themselves in water savings. If you really want a gas dryer, of course that's different. I know people who switched just because they preferred the one fuel. And you can get a dryer far cheaper than $800 too. I splurged and spent $300 on mine (electric however) and a friend bought a Roper gas dryer for $175 about a year ago. Remember, a dryer tumbles clothes and blows warm air through them. They don't do many tricks so spending $800-$1000 on a dryer is very hard for me to justify. And no, the expensive ones don't save money either. If disaster strikes and something major happens, I wouldn't feel all that bad about dumping it and buying a new one. But with nearly a grand in it I'd feel I had to consider repairs. Again, your priorities will vary from mine.

Where are you at that you're paying $4.50 for propane? My cousin just signed his contract for next year for under $2. It sounds like you just had it put in so they're going to take advantage of you on fill price. See what your summer fill costs. Also, what do you consider a "big" propane tank?

FWIW, assuming you have the FL F&P dryer, it's a rebranded GE and they have a very good reputation. Replacing working appliances seldom work out for a cost savings. Trying to sell it wouldn't yield much unless you find a real sucker since dryers start at about $250 or less new so not many would want to pay much for it.

I wanted to get a gas dryer. I have natural gas. But I got such a deal on the dryer I bought and to get it in and going, and already having the outlet so it's literally "plug n play" I stayed with electric. Gas prices vary so much where electric rates are quite stable, at least in my area. And don't forget the gas dryer uses electricity too.

Another consideration: You also have to factor in the cost of running the gas line and possibly an electric line for the gas dryer. Some handy DIYers could do this but it could be a code violation to DIY and it depends on your area on whether you'd want to risk it or not.

Years ago I figured out the approximate savings if I used gas rather than electric for drying. At that time, and yes, prices have changed dramatically since, but at the time it was about 5-7¢ per load that I'd save. The difference in price was about $50 so at that time, to offset a $50 investment, without factoring in the cost of running gas line and possible electric, it would take in the area of 1000 loads to offset that small amount different. So I quickly dropped that thought!

One other thing to chew on, look carefully at the size of the dryer. Undersizing a dryer is a big mistake often made. 7 cu ft is the smallest I would buy for any washer I have. The guideline is to double the washer capacity. Granted there's some play since seldom are the super large capacity washers used full, but nonetheless I've been downright relieved I decided to go with a 7.4 cf unit. Speeds up drying, less wrinkling and it's a great dryer. I enjoy doing laundry these days, with the exception that I wish it was on the first floor.

So I guess my suggestion is to see how long your current dryer lasts and do some figuring to see what the costs would be at different prices for gas and electricity so when the time comes you know. Plus when that happens you could just say you prefer gas and it'd only be the cost difference rather than the whole appliance cost.

Just some points to ponder. Good luck in your decision.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 1:23PM
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