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Choosing Between Gas or Electric Clothes Dryer

Clothes dryers generate heat and use a fan to blow hot air through the rotating drum to dry the clothes tumbling inside. When choosing a new clothes dryer, you can choose between electricity or gas to generate that heat.

Which is Better, Gas or Electric?

Gas dryers cost a little more up front, roughly $100 more than an equivalent electric model, but the savings from the lower cost of gas operation more than makes up for that initial added cost. Gas and electric dryers are nearly identical beyond the heat source; their performance is the same as is their reliability. Their lower cost of operation is the only real advantage of gas over electric.

The only other minor difference between gas and electric dryers is the exhaust venting. All dryers must have their hot air exhaust vented away from the appliance. Because of the heat generated, as well as the high levels of moisture in the air, it should be vented to the outdoors. In the case of a gas appliance, because of the carbon monoxide created during the combustion of the gas, it absolutely must be vented to the outdoors.

Is your Home Equipped for Gas, Electric or Both?

When deciding whether to buy a gas or electric dryer, you should consider what your home is equipped for. If your home is only equipped for gas or only equipped for electric, then the easy choice is to stick with that fuel source. However, it is possible for an electrician to add a 240v outlet in your laundry area, or for a plumber to add a gas line; so if you have a strong preference, the option to switch fuel sources is a possibility.

If your home is equipped for both gas or electric, then of course you can choose either style of appliance, although the long term lower operation costs might make the gas dryer the more appealing choice.


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