gas vs electric clothes dryer

capejohnSeptember 2, 2009

I posted this in the appliance forum but just noticed there is this "Laundry Forum" thought I'd cross post here, as well.

We are debating whether to have an electric dryer or a natural gas clothes dryer. We've always had electric but electric rates are a bit higher in our new location. Can people please share their comments on the pros and cons of gas vs electric. Thank you.

This is for new we presently have a choice whether to make it a gas .... or an electric hook up.


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I think the decision is usually made based on whatever is most cost-effective. I've only had gas dryers because in my area natural gas is cheaper than electricity.

Gas dryers do tend to cost a little bit more than the same electric model, I'm not sure why.

So if your gas rates are low enough to make a difference, I'd probably go with that.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:49AM
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Gas is cheaper to run and it does not dries the clothes out like electric.
I have both setup and I prefer the gas over electric because of this.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 10:13AM
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In my area, gas rates are higher than electric rates. Gas used to be cheaper until it was deregulated a few years ago.

My decision would be based on utility rates.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:21PM
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I went with gas because it was cheaper than electric. Since it's still electronic ignition, gotta have an electic hook-up anyway. When I replaced my dryer after 17 years, I stayed with gas.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 2:11PM
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You need electricity on a gas dryer not just for the ignition but to also turn the drum. Many people forget that it costs electricity to run a gas dryer and many places that compare them don't factor this in.

There is no one answer to what's better. Much is personal preference. Generally, gas dryers cost about $50-$100+ more than electric to buy. Reliability is comparable. There's arguments about "overdrying", being hotter and the like that are simply put, uninformed. If this was true, I guess I'd then say that's a point in favor of electric, since I buy a dryer to DRY the clothes! LOL That will all vary by the unit. My dryer has five different heat levels to choose from so the temperature can vary a lot. The dryer we had at home and my sister's dryer (both gas) ran hotter than mine and I often see complaints about a brand or two having unusually high heat temps in their gas dryers - so much so they actually scortched the clothes! But I think they probably weren't working right. Just a guess.

The important thing if you're going to compare costs is to determine your actual rates on gas and electric and calculate the cost of operation, including electricity on the gas dryer, cost of the unit if there's a difference, cost of any modifications and also consider if you have a personal preference.

Venting a gas dryer is a more important consideration than on electric. If electric vent leaks, you'll get some heat and humidity in the air while venting a gas dryer will bring gas fumes in which is not good. Many people in colder climates will vent their electric dryers inside for the heat and humidity. I did that for many years.

Many make a big deal out of a dryer when it's really pretty basic. It tumbles clothes, heats some air and vents the air out (unless it's condenser) and that's about it. This isn't rocket science.

Around here electric costs are very stable, however natural gas is very volatile. So I laugh when the gas lovers say gas is always cheaper. It's not. It can be, or it might not. Or it could be cheaper sometimes.

If you compare costs, analyze your gas and electric rates for at least a couple years and get a good feel for the trends. As winter approaches, natural gas will go up significantly in my area.

Although this is a rare situation, a couple friends have breathing issues so they can't have gas appliances in their homes. I doubt this is your case but could be a consideration for some so it's only right to mention it for a fair pro/con analysis.

In the end, maybe the most important consideration is with which are you most comfortable? If it were me, for new construction, I'd seriously consider putting both sources in so I have my choice if I wanted to change down the road. That way I wouldn't commit to gas or electric essentially forever. The added cost probably wouldn't be that much and having 220 could be nice for the option of the 220v heated front loaders, although they're not as...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 11:59PM
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If I had to use an electric dryer, I couldn't afford to dry my clothes. Where I live electricity is very expensive.

My decision is absolutely based on energy cost because I don't really think there is a difference in machine performance one way or another.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 12:04AM
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Thanks all for your insights.... electric is very expensive where we are building.... so I think it will be a gas dryer for us.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 4:50PM
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A bit OT, but thought I should mention -- sunshine is free of charge! Lots of people are rediscovering the joys of hanging laundry out to dry. Clothes not dried in a dryer last longer, too. Just something to consider.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 3:29AM
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> sunshine is free of charge

unless it's raining, OR cold and snowy in Wisconsin winters ...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 4:28AM
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Some people in areas which have lots of rainfall and/or long, cold winters have clotheslines or racks in basements. And even people who have long, cold winters can often hang out laundry in spring, summer, and fall.

A friend of mine has a retractable clothesline in her garage. She likes to open the windows when she hangs out laundry there.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 4:55AM
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In my climate, sunshine is a 360 day a year event but the doggone air is dusty.... probably from dryer vents, lol. I have a clothesline for pool towels, though, and hang delicates to air-dry anyway. I've lived here so long I forgot that people vent their dryers to the inside in other climates.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 2:55PM
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You should make sure that you put a 220V outlet in the laundry room anyway. The people who buy your house, if you ever sell, may very well have an electric dryer. That's what we did and it's easy when you are building.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 12:05PM
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