Can You (or Should You) Convert a Gas Dryer to Electric?

Conroy Baltimore
Written by Conroy Baltimore
Updated May 3, 2022
A woman doing her laundry
Photo: gradyreese / E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Gas dryers are typically more expensive than electric models.

  • Voltage requirements are different for gas and electric dryers.

  • While possible, gas to electric dryer conversion isn’t recommended.

  • If you decide to make the switch, enlist the help of an appliance repair professional.

Whenever you move into a new home, finding pre-existing washer and dryer hookups is a big win. But what if the connections aren’t exactly right for you? You have a gas dryer, but the new home has electric hookups—what now? One option is to keep your gas dryer. But installing a new gas dryer costs between $760 and $1,650, and you’ll also need to run new gas lines, which range between $200 to $5,000 depending on their length. 

Those eye-opening costs may have you wondering can you convert a gas dryer to electric instead. The short answer is yes, but it isn’t the most cost-effective method. Knowing the specifics of each model is essential before making this decision. 

Differences Between Gas and Electric Dryers

The most apparent difference between gas and electric dryers is each model's energy usage. Gas dryers use propane or other natural gas ignited by a burner to create the heat that dries your clothes. For that reason, gas dryers run hotter and dry your clothes faster than electric versions.

Gas dryers are also the preferred choice among homeowners because of their energy efficiency—it costs about 50% less to run a gas dryer than an electric one. They use 110-voltage to heat your clothing rather than the 240-voltage electric dryers use.

However, gas dryers (and their lines) are an investment, something you wouldn’t have to worry about with an electric dryer.

Installation Methods for Gas and Electric Dryers

A modern laundry room
Photo: Erik Isakson / Tetra images / Getty Images

You might be considering converting a gas dryer to an electric one because there’s no gas connection in your home. Gas line installation costs can be high, and you’ll also need to find a local appliance installation service that fits your budget.

On the other hand, electric dryers don’t need a professional installation—it’s a simple DIY project you can complete at any time. Just plug it into a 240-voltage outlet, connect the hose, and you’re good to go.

Functionality of Gas and Electric Dryers

Regardless if you have an electric or gas dryer, it will use the same system to dry your laundry. It includes:

  • Air

  • Heat

  • Tumbling

When an electric dryer runs, an electrical current passes through the heating coil, creates a build-up of electrons, and heats the metal. Hot air forms and gets propelled by a fan or blower into the drum.

Gas dryers use a burner to ignite the gas or propane, heating the air. A fan or blower pushes the hot air into the drum, similar to an electric version.

Venting Systems for Gas and Electric Dryers

Both electric and gas dryers need venting systems that expel hot air, particles, and other debris. Without it, you’ll have a damp laundry room that could become a breeding ground for mildew, dust, and lint, which could cause respiratory problems in your household.

Additionally, gas dryer vents expel waste from burnt gas—like carbon monoxide—which you don’t want to breathe in. That’s why it’s essential to have your dryer vents professionally cleaned multiple times a year. While DIY is an option, inadequate cleaning can lead to house fires.

Note: Some electric dryers need venting systems, but newer models don’t have the same requirements. However, these models are better suited for individuals living in apartments.

So, Can You Convert a Gas Dryer to Electric?

Yes, converting a gas dryer to an electric one is possible. But we recommend against it for two main reasons:

1. It’s Not Cost-Effective

Gas and electric dryers work in entirely different ways, meaning their components aren’t interchangeable. Gas dryers have an igniter, burner, and other parts that you won’t find in electric versions. You also can’t forget the burner tubes, fuses, and other safety features of gas dryers.

So to complete this project, you’ll need to remove these elements and have advanced knowledge of wiring, electrical currents, and appliance operation. Plus, there’s no conversion kit on the market to make your job easier.

2. There’s a Difference in Electrical Currents

Remember, gas and electric dryers run on different currents. Gas dryers use 110-voltage, and electric dryers use 240-voltage. You’ll need to increase the gas dryer's electrical capacity, which can be hazardous if you’re unsure what to do.

Converting a Gas Dryer to Electric

If you still want to test your DIY prowess, here’s a quick breakdown of the job:

  1. Run a 240-voltage single-phase circuit

  2. Cap the gas line

  3. Buy and install replacement components as needed, such as:

    • Wirings

    • Relays

    • Heating assembly

    • Control mechanisms

Remember, though, that incorrect installation could lead to a whole host of problems. We suggest hiring an appliance specialist for this project if you decide to make the switch.

The Bottom Line

It’s possible to convert a gas dryer to an electric one, but it takes some serious know-how. A better option would be to research new dryers, sell your gas dryer, and have that money offset some of the cost of a more recent electric model. 

Plus, if the conversion does go wrong, you might spend a fortune on repairs and put your household at risk due to faulty electrical components.