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Choosing a Clothes Dryer

Gas or Electric?

Illustration-of-gas-and-electric-dryer-side-by-side-Courtesy-of-Bosch

Courtesy of Bosch

Dryers are either powered by gas or electricity.

Clothes dryers are less complicated than washers, with fewer options and therefore fewer decisions to make. One of the main choices is whether to buy a gas or electric dryer. Because gas and electric ranges function so differently, you might think the same is true of dryers, but it isn't; regardless of fuel source, dryers perform in a similar manner.

The only major difference between the two is price: gas dryers cost about $50 to $100 more than electric dryers up front, but are a bit more energy-efficient and therefore cost less to operate. If you're just replacing existing appliances, check out the existing hookups-you may want to stick with your current set-up to avoid additional installation costs.

 

Electric

Gas

Energy Source

240-volt outlet

120-volt outlet and gas hookup

Dry Method

Drum tumbles clothes through heated air. Electric motor turns drum and distributes air. Heating coils supply heat.

Drum tumbles clothes through heated air. Electric motor turns drum and distributes air. Gas burner supplies heat.

Installation

Requires electrician

Requires electrician and plumber

Energy Efficiency

Use slightly more energy

Use slightly less energy

Availability

Come in a wide range of models, prices and styles

Come in a wide range of models, prices and styles

Cost

Lower price tag; higher utility bills

Higher price tag; lower utility bills

Size

All sizes, including compact

Not available in compact sizes

Stackable

Yes

Yes

 

 

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