Should you select a natural gas or electric clothes dryer? All dryers use a small electric motor to turn a large drum that tumbles the clothes inside and an electric fan to distribute heated air. There are however, two ways to create the heat needed to efficiently dry clothes - natural gas or electricity.
Most electric dryers operate on 240-volt current, twice the strength of ordinary household current, to fuel heating coils.
Natural gas dryers use a gas burner to create heat, but otherwise they operate the same as an electric dryer.
Making a Choice
If you have both natural gas and 240-volt connections in your laundry room, you have a choice in dryers. Natural gas dryers cost more to begin with - approximately $50 more than the comparable electric model. But in most areas natural gas dryers will cost less to run over their lifetime. Generally speaking, the cost of electricity needed to dry a typical load of laundry cost twice as much as a load dried with natural gas.
You should also consider installation costs - a gas dryer is going to have an additional cost for installation. It is highly suggested that a gas dryer be installed by a reputable technician while an electric dryer can just be plugged into a 240-volt outlet. If your home does not have a gas line already available in the laundry area, installing lines can be quite costly.
To help you make your decision, read reviews of top rated electric and gas dryers at ConsumerSearch . You're sure to find features and choices that will fit your budget.
Another advantage of natural gas dryers is faster clothes drying means less time spent on laundry. And natural gas dryers are easier on fabrics because clothes are dried quicker and at specific temperatures to adequately evaporate water from the fabric.
When choosing a natural gas clothes dryer, look for:
- Pilotless ignition and automatic shutoff -- find models that offer electronic sensor drying. They use an electronic moisture-sensing device that "feels" the degree of moisture in the clothes. When the degree of dryness selected is reached, the dryer automatically shuts off.
- Automatic cool-down -- a timed interval at the end of the drying cycle when tumbling continues with the heat off to reduce wrinkling of heat-sensitive synthetic fabrics and no-iron finishes.
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