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Gas vs. Electric Dryers

Laundry Showdown: Gas vs. Electric Dryers

When looking at dryers for your laundry room, you'll need to choose between gas or electric 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 natural gas and electric dryers.

Gas Dryers

Electric Dryers

Vent required

YesNot always

Initial cost


Cost of upkeep


Power requirement

Dedicated gas line240 V outlet

Drying time


Gas Dryers

Advantages of Gas Dryers

  • Less expensive upkeep – Gas models are usually a bit less expensive to operate than electric dryers, although this depends on the cost of natural gas and electricity in your area.
  • Faster - Gas dryers heat up and dry clothes faster than electric dryers do, helping to increase the possible energy savings.
  • Less tumble time – Since natural gas dryers trend towards the warmer side, this reduced tumble time helps to limit the wear and tear while you dry clothes.
  • Best for large families – You'll see the most operational cost savings if you're doing ~1 load of laundry per day. So, if you're always needing to wash clothes, then you'll benefit most from the savings of a gas model.

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 natural gas line that must be professionally installed.

Shop all gas dryers

Kenmore gas dryer

Electric Dryers

Advantages of Electric Dryers

  • No gas line required – Electric clothes 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.
  • Best for infrequent drying – If you're doing laundry only once or twice a week, the savings from a gas model become markedly less impactful. Go ahead and stick with an electric model if you're not washing clothes frequently.

Limitations of Electric Dryers

  • More expensive upkeep - Though it depends on the usage & 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.
  •  Increased wear and tear – With a longer tumble time, this can sometimes increase damage to clothing while it's tumbling.

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Kenmore electric dryer

So…Do you choose a gas dryer or an electric dryer?

The two biggest factors that you'll need to consider are:

  1. Your home's current set-up.
  2. Your family size/laundry habits.

If you're not planning on staying in your home for longer than a few years, then shelling out the cash to convert a home to gas from electric probably won't be worth it.

Energy savings are seen the most from homes that use gas and are doing laundry close to once a day. If you're only doing a load a few times a week at most, then you can probably stick with an electric dryer. For large households, where laundry seems like a never-ending mountain, you'll definitely benefit from investing up front on a gas model.

laundry room