When it comes to choosing a dryer for your laundry needs, the decision between a gas and electric dryer can be a tough choice to make. Each type of dryer offers has its own advantages and considerations that can impact the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of drying your clothes. 

In this blog, we will explain the key differences between gas and electric dryers, exploring factors such as drying times, upfront costs, maintenance requirements, and energy usage to help you decide which type of dryer is a better option for your clothes and household.

Gas vs. Electric Dryers: Key Differences

Gas Dryers Electric Dryers
Drying Times Typically faster due to higher heat output Longer heating time and may require more time to dry clothes
Upfront Cost Generally higher due to additional components and installation needs Generally lower compared to gas dryers
Availability Less widely available More widely available
Variety of Models Limited options Greater variety of models and features
Gas Leak Risk Potential risk of gas leaks No risk of gas leaks
Repairs and Maintenance Requires professional repairs and maintenance for gas-related issues Generally easier to maintain, may allow for DIY repairs in some cases


Which Dryer Is Safer for Clothes?

When it comes to preventing any damage to your clothing, both types of dryers are safe to use on fabrics. However, gas dryers have features and advantages that make them particularly beneficial for ensuring the longevity of your clothes.

One notable advantage of gas dryers is their faster drying cycle times. Gas dryers have shorter drying cycle times, meaning the higher heat output of gas dryers allows for quicker drying, reducing the overall exposure of clothes to heat. Less exposure to heat prevents over-drying, which leads to damage, shrinkage, and wear on fabrics.

Another aspect that contributes to the safety of clothes is the efficiency of gas dryers. Gas dryers heat up much faster and generate more heat than electric dryers. Since gas dryers are efficient, this ensures that the drying process is more effective and reduces the time clothes spend in the dryer, further minimizing the potential damage caused by prolonged exposure to heat.

Gas dryers often incorporate safety measures to enhance clothing safety. Some models feature pilotless ignition, automatic shutoff, and electronic sensor drying. These safety features help prevent over-drying and minimize the risk of overheating clothes. By automatically detecting the moisture level in the dryer, electronic sensors ensure that clothes dry to the desired level without subjecting them to excessive heat.

Additionally, some gas dryers offer automatic cool-down cycles. This feature is particularly beneficial for heat-sensitive fabrics and no-iron finishes. The cool-down cycle helps to reduce wrinkling and maintains the integrity of these delicate materials, contributing to clothing safety and maintaining the quality of the garments.

On the other hand, electric dryers may take longer to dry clothes as they require more time to heat up. This extended drying time increases the exposure of clothes to heat, which can potentially impact clothing safety. However, with proper usage and attention to recommended drying settings, you can still use electric dryers safely.

Features and Other Considerations

Girl reaching for clothes in a dryer.

Before purchasing a dryer, it’s essential to consider various features and factors to ensure it meets your specific needs. Look for features such as moisture sensors that adjust drying time, different heat settings for various fabric types, and specialized cycles for certain garments, and consider the size and capacity of the dryer to accommodate your laundry loads effectively.

Key Features

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers use either natural gas or liquid propane gas (LP) as fuel, offering flexibility based on availability. Since gas dryers expel combustible byproducts, such as carbon dioxide, they need proper ventilation. Gas dryers typically dry clothes faster than electric dryers due to their ability to generate heat quickly, thus minimizing wear and tear on clothing fibers due to shorter drying times.

When looking into gas dryers, keep an eye out for units with electronic sensor drying. This feature uses moisture-sensing devices to detect the level of dryness and automatically shuts off when clothes are adequately dried. Gas dryers may also feature an automatic cool-down cycle, where tumbling continues with no heat to reduce the wrinkling of fabrics that are sensitive to heat.

Electric Dryers

Electric dryers typically operate on a 240-volt electrical current, although compact or portable models may run on a 110-volt current, providing flexibility for different settings and needs. 

Energy efficiency is another aspect to consider when choosing an electric dryer. Look for models with energy-saving options, such as timed drying or auto-sensor programs. These features optimize energy usage by allowing you to select specific drying times or relying on sensors to automatically determine the ideal drying time based on the moisture level in the drum.

One advantage of electric dryers is their ease of installation in most homes. Unlike gas dryers that require gas lines, electric dryers only need a dedicated electrical outlet, making the installation process simpler and more accessible for households that don’t have existing gas connections.

Additionally, some electric dryers on the market are ventless, offering the potential for more flexible installation locations. These ventless dryers eliminate the need for external venting, allowing for use in various areas of the home, such as closets or spaces without access to venting.

Dryer Installation 

Gas Dryers

Installing a gas dryer involves specific considerations to ensure safe and efficient operation. Gas dryers require a gas line connection, meaning if one isn’t readily available, it will likely cost a lot of money to have one installed. It is essential to hire a reputable technician or plumber experienced in working with gas connections to ensure a safe installation.

Venting is another critical aspect of gas dryer installation. Gas dryers produce combustion byproducts, such as carbon dioxide, which must vent to the outside. Venting ensures the removal of these potentially harmful gases from the laundry area, maintaining a safe and healthy indoor environment.

In cases where natural gas service is unavailable or impractical, gas dryers can use liquid propane gas (LP gas). Using LP gas requires the installation of a storage tank and additional steps to ensure the proper connection and supply of LP gas. Always consult with a professional and adhere to local regulations to ensure the safe installation and operation of a gas dryer using LP gas.

Electric Dryers

Most electric dryers require a dedicated 240-volt electrical outlet (110 volts for compact or portable models). While most laundry rooms have a suitable electrical outlet, older homes may need electrical upgrades to accommodate the higher voltage.

Electric dryers have a large plug with three or four prongs to fit the corresponding outlet, depending on the wiring configuration. If the outlet does not match the dryer’s plug configuration, an electrician may need to make the necessary adjustments or install a compatible outlet.

Like gas dryers, venting is necessary for electric dryers to remove moist, hot air generated during the drying process. Venting allows the proper airflow and prevents moisture buildup in the laundry area. Always vent electric dryers outside using the appropriate ductwork and follow local building codes and guidelines for venting specifications.

Energy Use

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers have an advantage over electric dryers when looking at energy efficiency and operating costs. Gas dryers use combustion to generate heat, resulting in faster drying times and lower energy consumption per load. 

The heat output of gas dryers allows for more efficient drying, reducing the time and energy needed to complete a drying cycle. When selecting a gas dryer, look for models with an Energy Star rating. This certification indicates higher energy efficiency and potential energy savings.

Additionally, some gas dryers incorporate ventless heat pump technology, further improving energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption per load.

Electric Dryers

Compared to gas dryers, electric dryers generally cost more to operate due to the higher cost of electricity and longer drying times. Natural gas and propane are less expensive energy sources in many areas than electricity. 

The cost of electricity required to dry a typical load of laundry tends to be higher when compared to using gas. Electric dryers also take more time to warm up the heating elements and may require longer drying cycles to fully dry clothes, resulting in increased energy consumption. 

To reduce energy usage, consider selecting electric dryers with energy-saving features such as moisture sensors to adjust the drying time and prevent and optimize energy efficiency.


Both gas and electric dryers have similar lifespans. Gas dryers are known for their durability and reliability, often lasting many years with the proper care and maintenance. Since gas dryers have fewer components than their electric counterparts, they are typically easier to replace and repair.

Electric dryers usually have more components, such as heating elements and electrical connections, which require occasional maintenance or replacement. Electric dryers are also known for their durability and can provide reliable performance over an extended time.

Repairs and Maintenance

Regular maintenance, like cleaning the lint trap and vent after each load, can help prolong the lifespan and ensure the optimal performance of your dryer, regardless of what type of unit you have. 

If you need to repair your gas dryer, we advise contacting a qualified repair professional due to the potential risks associated with gas leaks.

On the other hand, it may be easier to handle some issues with an electric dryer yourself if you have general repair knowledge or if the problems are minor.

Man cleaning out dryer filter.

Additional Tips

In addition to the previously discussed factors, here are some additional tips to help you get the most out of your dryer:

Use the Appropriate Settings

Pay attention to the recommended drying settings for different fabric types. Using the correct heat and drying options can help preserve the quality and lifespan of your clothes. Delicate fabrics may require lower heat settings, while heavier fabrics may benefit from higher heat settings. 

Selecting the appropriate drying options, such as timed drying or specific cycles for different types of clothing, can help avoid over-drying and get rid of static cling.

Don’t Overload the Dryer

It’s important to avoid filling the dryer with too many clothes in a single load. Overloading can lead to inefficient drying, as the air may not circulate properly, resulting in longer drying times. 

Excessive loads can also cause increased wear and tear on the fabrics and strain on the dryer’s components. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for load capacity to ensure optimal drying performance and protect your clothes.

Consider Noise Levels

If noise is a concern, look for dryers that offer noise-reduction features. Some models contain noise-dampening technologies or specialized insulation to minimize operational noise. If possible, you can also choose to locate the dryer in a well-insulated area or laundry room to reduce noise disruption in your living space.

ZIPS employee dropping off clothes.

Let ZIPS Take Care of It

The choice between a gas and electric dryer ultimately depends on your household’s specific needs and preferences. Gas dryers offer faster drying times and energy efficiency, while electric dryers provide easier installation and a wider variety of models. 

Consider factors such as drying times, energy consumption, upfront costs, and safety features before you buy. Whichever type you choose, proper maintenance and following the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure optimal performance and garment safety.

If you’re looking to save time and money while guaranteeing professional care for your clothes, consider using a cleaning service like ZIPS. With a commitment to quality, our team of expert fabric whisperers is here to help you get the most out of your favorite garments and help you look your best.Visit our website for more tips and to find a ZIPS location near you. Trust ZIPS to keep your clothes in tip-top condition, day in and day out!