Sears Knowledge Center

Gas vs. Electric Dryers

When looking at dryers, you'll need to choose between gas- and electricity- powered dryers. For the most part, both types deliver comparable performance: both do a great job of drying your clothes, and both come in a variety of capacities with a range of special functions. The main differences are related to installation, cost, drying speed and energy efficiency. Read on for a detailed description of the differences between gas and electric dryers.

 

  Gas Dryers Electric Dryers
Vent required Yes Not always
Initial cost* Higher Lower
Cost of upkeep Lower Higher
Power requirement Dedicated gas line 240 V outlet
Drying speed Faster Slower

*Refer to the Dryers Buying Guide for more specific cost ranges.


Advantages of Gas Dryers

  • Less expensive upkeepGas dryers are usually a bit less expensive to operate than electric dryers, although this depends on the cost of gas and electricity in your area.
  • Faster – Gas dryers heat up and dry your clothes faster than electric dryers do, making them a little more energy efficient and gentle on fabrics.

Limitations of Gas Dryers

  • Vent required – All gas dryers require a vent to the outside.
  • More expensive initially – Gas dryers tend to be a little more expensive than comparable electric dryers.
  • Gas line required – Gas dryers require a dedicated gas line that must be professionally installed.

Advantages of Electric Dryers

  • No gas line required Electric dryers do not require a gas line.
  • Ventless models – Some electric dryers do not need to be vented to the outside, making electric your only choice if you can't vent your dryer.
  • Less expensive initially – Electric dryers tend to be a little cheaper than comparable gas dryers.

Limitations of Electric Dryers

  • More expensive upkeep – Though it depends on the energy costs in your area, electric dryers are typically a little more expensive to operate than gas dryers.
  • 240 V outlet required – Most electric dryers require a 240 V outlet, which most laundry rooms will have. If yours doesn't, however, you'll need to use a converter or hire an electrician. A typical wall outlet in the United States is 120 V.
  • Slower – Electric dryers tend to heat up more slowly and take longer to dry your clothes than gas dryers do, which means that electric dryers use more energy.

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