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What’s the Difference Between Gas and Electric Dryers?

Ebonee Williams
Written by Ebonee Williams
Updated October 29, 2021
home washer and dryer with laundry baskets
Iriana Shiyan - stock.adobe.com

Highlights

  • Gas dryers typically cost $50–$100 more than electric dryers

  • Electric dryers are more common

  • Gas dryers heat up faster 

  • Electric dryers are easier to install and DIY

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Gas and electric dryers both get your clothes dry on laundry day, but how they operate is different. This guide will help you decide if an electric or gas dryer is best for your home.

Gas Dryer Pros and Cons

A gas dryer will cost you more upfront, but, depending on your needs and the type of lines you have in your home, this option may be the best for you.

Gas Dryer Pros

Gas dryers dry clothes faster because they’re able to generate instant heat to its burners. This is great for busy homeowners who need laundry dried quickly. 

What makes gas dryers even more appealing is that you pay less per load. So not only will your clothes dry faster, but you’ll also pay less.

Gas Dryer Cons

Hiring a professional to install your gas dryer is essential. This is an additional fee to consider when you’re calculating gas dryer costs. Having a professional take care of the installation will save you from worrying about gas problems and potential leask in the future. 

Gas dryers always have to be vented outside because they produce carbon monoxide. While you may have to vent some electric dryers, most newer models don't require venting.

Electric Dryer Pros and Cons

woman taking out clothes from dryer
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Overall, electric dryers are more common and easier to find in homes. We’ll walk through the pros and cons of having an electric dryer.

Electric Dryer Pros

Unlike gas dryers, you don’t have to hire a professional to install your electric dryer. So if you consider yourself to be pretty handy and you like DIY projects, installing an electric dryer will be a piece of cake. 

The lifespan of an electric dryer is longer than gas dryers, but only slightly. An electric dryer can last for about 14 years, while a gas dryer will work for 13 years.

Electric Dryer Cons

Electric dryers are more expensive to run and take longer to heat up. You have to be with the electrical wires and make sure everything has been installed properly. If your electrical dryer isn’t installed properly, you run the risk of being electrocuted or possibly starting a fire. Be careful with the wiring because faulty wires can be hazardous.

Gas Dryers vs. Electric Dryers

Check out how gas dryers and electric dryers compare side by side.

​Price​

Gas dryers cost more than electric dryers. Typical gas dryer costs more than a typical electric dryer, but when they're both high-end models the prices are relatively the same. You could pay between $1,200 to $1,600 for a top-of-the-line gas or electric dryer. 

Most cost-effective: Electric dryer

Ease of Installation/DIY-ability

While it may be easy for a homeowner to install an electric dryer by simply plugging it into an outlet and connecting the hose, gas dryers are more complex. 

To install a gas dryer, you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber to hook up the gas. This additional cost can range anywhere from $75 to $125 depending on the complexity of the install. Gas lines have to be properly installed as gas leaks can be lethal. 

Easier to install: Electric dryer

Maintenance

It’s possible to take care of maintenance repairs when you own an electric dryer. Simple repairs can be anything from changing the belts or a switch to even setting up a new heater. 

Gas dryer repairs usually involve contacting an experienced professional. It can cost anywhere from $75 to $125 for a simple service call, which doesn't even include the parts. 

Easier to maintain: Electric dryer

Eco-Friendliness/Sustainability

Determining which dryer option is the most eco-friendly option will depend on how the power works in your home. For instance, homes with solar panels are able to generate eco-friendly electric energy. But if your electricity comes from a power plant, which is the case for most homeowners, then an electric dryer may not be the best eco-friendly option and you’ll want to use gas instead. 

Most eco-friendly: Gas dryer

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