There’s only one appliance in your home that’s close to being as power hungry as your refrigerator – your dryer. This means that you should take special care to ensure that you have a dryer that’s going to be as efficient as possible; it’ll be easier on your wallet and better for the environment. There are two primary options to choose from when considering a dryer: gas dryer vs electric dryer.
In this article we’ll walk through both options and carefully review which is more energy efficient.
Before we talk about efficiency, let’s get a solid groundwork laid on how exactly a dryer functions.
Fundamentally all dryers operate in the same fashion – electricity powers and drives a large metal drum that tumbles the clothes inside through air that’s heated which removes moisture and dries them out. Without getting too technical, the electric motor inside the dryer drives a belt that allows the drum to turn.
The difference between electric and gas dryers therefore doesn’t stand on the general mechanics of the dryer but on the source that provides the heating. Cutting to the chase – gas dryers are the overall more efficient option. Stick with us though and we’ll discuss further why that’s the case.
The first thing to know about electric dryers is that they, almost always, run off 240V current rather than the standard 120V. That’s why you find the big heavy duty sockets available for them and the specialized circuit breakers within your panel. If it’s not obvious yet – that means that they are going to be putting forth a pretty strong power draw.
Which means that you could be aiming to spend anywhere between 32-91 cents per session on drying; depending on which particular market you’re in and what the utility company’s standard rates are.
It takes a good deal of energy to take the potential of electricity and actually make it form usable heat. There is one thing that an electric dryer has going for it though – they almost always have a lower up-front purchase price than gas options.
A gas dryer works by burning natural gas; the heat that’s generated from this is forced into the drum which provides the necessary energy to remove moisture from the wet clothing.
Obviously, this means that the dryer will have to have a source of natural gas. If you already have gas piped into your laundry room then this won’t be any trouble whatsoever. However, if you don’t have it available at this location then you’ll (unless you are a rather advanced DIYer) need to pay to have a contractor run the gas line to this spot for you.
And, if you don’t have natural gas at your home at all – you’ll need to contact your local utility company to discuss available options. That being said, there are some strong positives once you get this infrastructure established.
First, there’s the overall lower energy costs. You’ll be looking to spend roughly 15-33 cents (depending on the market) per load with a gas dryer. This is substantially lower than the rates discussed prior for the electric dryer. That financial savings translates directly into there being less energy drawn out overall; so you really are saving your wallet and assisting the planet.
Second, there is the overall performance of gas dryers. Typically speaking, gas dryer runs hotter than electrical units. What that means is that you’re getting the same amount of drying power with less time for the dryer to actually be active.
Obviously that’s going to have massive benefits from an energy usage perspective, but it’s also going to have a direct impact on the quality of your clothes. The more fabrics are exposed to the harshness of heat the more they begin to fray and wear; having a gas dryer ensures that you keep your favorite apparel around for as long as possible.
Be aware – along with the need for having natural gas available, gas dryers always come with a steeper price tag than electrical ones. But, you get what you pay for – right?
It should be obvious by this point that gas is king when it comes to overall efficiency for your dryer. It provides the same amount of drying power as an electrical dryer – but with less energy consumption.
It also provides a higher heating temp that allows your clothes to get dried faster. That’s going to have a dramatic impact on the life of your attire which is a massive energy efficiency plus. If you can handle the higher up-front price point and working to make sure that you have a natural gas source at the appropriate location; then a gas dryer is certainly the way to go.
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