: Gas v. Electric dryers. Advantages? Disadvantages?



Spyder
12-10-07, 01:59 PM
I'm buying a new one tomorrow and don't know which to get. The house is set up for both...sooooooo...

Which should I get. And why?

dwight.j.carter
12-10-07, 02:02 PM
gas is going to dry faster and not run up your bill as bad as an electric one.

EcSTSatic
12-10-07, 02:09 PM
I agree. I plumbed my laundry room for gas but my electric won't die.
You also have to use metal venting. It gets too hot for plastic.

malcolm
12-10-07, 02:10 PM
Electric vs Gas

All dryers use a small electric motor to turn a large drum that tumbles the clothes placed inside it. All of them have an electric fan, which distributes heated air. There are however, two ways to create the heat needed to efficiently dry clothes - using either gas or electricity.

Electric dryers use heating coils to supply heat. Most electric dryers operate on 240-volt current, twice the strength of ordinary household current. If your laundry area is not equipped with a 240-volt outlet, you must have one installed.

Gas dryers use a gas burner to create heat, but otherwise they operate the same as an electric dryer. Your laundry room must have a gas hookup, with proper connections and safe venting of the gas's exhaust, in addition to an electrical outlet.

The connections you have in your laundry room will probably dictate which style you use. If you have both gas and 240-volt connections, consider that gas dryers cost more to begin with - approximately $50 more than the comparable electric model. But in most areas gas dryers will cost less to run over their lifetime. Generally speaking, the cost of electricity needed to dry a typical load of laundry is 30 to 40 cents, compared to 15 to 20 cents if you use gas.

The energy efficiency of a clothes dryer is measured by a term called the energy factor. It's a rating somewhat similar to miles per gallon for a car - but in this case, the measure is pounds of clothing per kilowatt-hour of electricity. The minimum energy factor for a standard capacity electric dryer is 3.01. For gas dryers, the minimum energy factor is 2.67, and, yes, the rating for gas dryers is provided in kilowatt-hours, even though the primary source of fuel is natural gas.

dwight.j.carter
12-10-07, 02:18 PM
Actually now that I think about it mine is electric and it does a good job of drying but I had the element replaced a couple years ago.

Playdrv4me
12-10-07, 02:30 PM
Fuel powered dryers, like pretty much any other fuel powered appliance in a conventional home (save for heating oil powered furnaces), provide more efficiency for the amount of energy needed to complete the task. If you have a gas hookup, I think most would recommend that you use it, despite rising fuel costs.

I have an aversion to anything gas powered just because it's a personal safety thing to me, but I do recognize gas powered appliances are better overall.

malcolm
12-10-07, 02:42 PM
Unlike most other types of appliances, clothes dryers don't vary much in the amount of energy used from model to model. That's why clothes dryers are not required to display EnergyGuide labels. They're also not listed in the ENERGY STARŪ's database.

Pick the one you are most comfortable using.

AMGoff
12-10-07, 03:06 PM
The only thing I would add is just to remember the natural gas is subject to market fluctuations just as oil is... where as the price of your electric more or less remains on an even keel.

EcSTSatic
12-10-07, 03:16 PM
Unlike most other types of appliances, clothes dryers don't vary much in the amount of energy used from model to model. That's why clothes dryers are not required to display EnergyGuide labels. They're also not listed in the ENERGY STARŪ's database.

Pick the one you are most comfortable using.

I didn't know that but it's true. I would still look at brands based on reliability though.

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=clotheswash.pr_clothes_washers
What about clothes dryers?

ENERGY STAR does not label clothes dryers since there is little difference in the energy use between models.

dkozloski
12-10-07, 03:33 PM
Get 100 ft. of clothesline rope and let Mr. Sun dry your clothes for free.

EcSTSatic
12-10-07, 03:37 PM
Get 100 ft. of clothesline rope and let Mr. Sun dry your clothes for free.

:thumbsup: We do that in the summer. It's amazing how much it cuts your energy bill.

dkozloski
12-10-07, 03:54 PM
Clothes will dry efficiently on an outside clothes line in sub zero weather. My mom would bring in the sheets and towels off the outside line and they'd be as stiff as boards. By the time they had thawed they were totally dry and never smelled more fresh and clean.

Spyder
12-10-07, 04:57 PM
I've never hung clothes in the winter. Summer time, yes, we did it all the time to save money. Just out of curiosity, how much longer does it take them to dry in the cold?

There's four of us living in this house now and we go through a LOT of laundry. A fifty dollar initial investment for a gas dryer will be absorbed in one month, I'm sure. The issue now is that the electric one we currently have is loud (bearings) and not very efficient (not much hot air) and we have to dry clothes for a full cycle plus a half a cycle to get them wearable. When this happened the house electric bill went up by a hundred a twenty bucks...due in large part to the fact that we're running the dryer about four times a day instead of 6 times a week now.

Thanks for the input folks. Off to Sears I go in the morning, on the hunt for a reasonably priced gas dryer!

RightTurn
12-10-07, 08:18 PM
Spyder--the electric model will usually be cheaper to purchase initially, but the gas will save you $$ over the long haul. I prefer gas because I believe it is more efficient. Good luck.

97DevilleBeige
12-10-07, 10:05 PM
Gas dryers typically cost $60 higher retail than their electric counterpart. Gas will cost less to run over the long run. I sell appliances. Not that you asked, but stick with either Whirlpool or Maytag. The new Maytags in stores are built by Whirlpool because Whirlpool bought them a year ago. Take a look at model WGD5500 . It's a good one.

Jesda
12-10-07, 10:31 PM
Get a hybrid! Ha Ha Ha...

ted tcb
12-10-07, 11:44 PM
Keep in mind that your washer's spin speed dictates your dryer's efficiency.
A standard top load washer has a max spin speed of about 650 rpms.
A good front load washer has a max spin speed between 1000-1200 rpms.
The clothes come out of the washer with less moisture content, thus making the dryer more efficient.

Also, try to pick a dryer with electronic sensor dry strips.
The clothing makes contact with these sensors on every tumble, making precise adjustments to the timer.
The basic dryers will have an "AutoDry" cycle which uses a moisture thermostat, which is nowhere near as
precise or reliable as the electronic sensors.