When it comes to your dryer, you want your fuzzy socks to come out warm and your dress shirts to come out less wrinkled (using the Wrinkle Shield™ option, of course). But have you ever considered what powers your dryer – gas or electricity? When shopping for a new dryer, that’s exactly what your first consideration should be.

Use our guide to learn about the differences between gas and electric dryers and the hookups required for each. Once you decide between gas or electric, we’ll help you find the right dryer for your family.

1. What’s the difference between gas and electric dryers?

The main difference between electric and gas dryers is how they’re powered. While both types of dryers need electricity to run, gas dryers also require a gas hookup.

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Gas Dryers: Electricity powers the drum, fan, lights and controls, but natural gas or propane generates heat.

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Electricity icon

Electric DryersElectricity powers the drum, fan, lights and controls and generates heat. 

Gas and electric dryers offer comparable performance, innovation and convenience — and a variety of sizes/capacities and styles. However, not all homes have the hookups to accommodate both gas and electric dryers.

A front load washer and dryer in a white laundry room.

What hookups are required for gas vs. electric dryers?

If you have a 110/115-volt electrical outlet (a standard home outlet) and a capped-off gas line nearby, you’re set up for a gas dryer. If you have a 240-volt electrical outlet, which is larger than a standard outlet and contains three or four holes, then you’re set up for an electric dryer.

Should I choose a gas or electric dryer?

Choose a gas dryer if:

  • You already have a gas hookup or you’re installing one.
  • You’re planning on staying in your home for at least five years. In this case, installing a gas line could lead to energy cost savings over time since gas dryers are typically more energy efficient than electric dryers.
  • Lower overall operating costs

Choose an electric dryer if:

  • You don’t have a gas hookup, and your laundry room is already equipped with a 240-volt electrical outlet.
  • You’re planning on staying in your home for less than five years. In this case, the cost of installing a gas line would likely outweigh the energy cost savings from owning a more energy efficient gas dryer.
  • You’re looking for a lower MSRP than comparable gas models. In terms of initial purchase, electric dryers often cost less than gas dryers.
A woman holds a shirt next to a front-loading washer and dryer.

Heat up laundry day with Whirlpool

Once you’ve made the critical initial decision between gas or electric dryers, you can explore the innovative drying features that both types offer.

 

Whether you’re sanitizing baby clothes, ensuring his lucky shirt’s fresh and ready for the big test tomorrow or washing and drying her princess comforter because it’s covered in treats from last night’s sleepover, we’ll help you find the right dryer for the job.

 

Check out our top picks below or shop all gas dryers and all electric dryers.

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*MSRP is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Dealer alone determines actual retail and advertised prices.