Dryers – also called “clothes dryers” or “tumble dryers” – are fast becoming a necessity in Canadian households. Thanks to this nifty appliance, there is no need to spend hours waiting for your pile of laundry to dry. Additionally, you won’t have to time your laundry session and coordinate it with the weather. Now, you can wash your clothes anytime you want for even greater convenience.
The thing is, there are myriads of dryers available in the market. If you don’t know what to look for, you would feel overwhelmed pretty fast. With that said, a good starting point is to choose between electric and gas dryers.
To know which one is best for you, it is important to understand the main qualities of each dryer type, as well as the major differences between them. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about electric and gas dryers.
Although several types of dryers exist, arguably the most important categories are gas and electric. This is because, at the end of the day, all the different models can be considered variations of these two types. To facilitate the decision-making process, we will compare electric and gas dryers using different criteria.
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The main difference between electric and gas models has to do with the power requirements. At the most basic level, tumble dryers rely on a combination of heat, air, and motion to wick out moisture, consequently drying your clothes and textiles.
An electric dryer requires a 240-volt current to power the metal heating coils, although some compact units may operate on a 110-volt current. In contrast, a gas dryer makes use of either natural gas or liquid propane gas to fuel the appliance’s internal heating system.
The power source will play a crucial role in the energy usage of the dryer. Generally speaking, gas dryers will be less expensive to operate than electric models. For one, gas units tend to run hotter than electric ones, which means that the clothes only need to be in the dryer for a shorter period of time in order to fully dry out. Of course, you also need to consider the costs of natural gas and propane gas, as well as the electricity rates, in your area, but gas is usually more affordable and more efficient to use.
If you plan on using electric models, there is some good news for you. The Canadian government has provided Energy Efficient Regulations for electric clothes dryers, which contains information on which models are ENERGY STAR-certified and what the EnerGuide label on the product actually means. This way, you can ensure that the electric dryer you choose is efficient and not needlessly consuming electricity.
Related article: The 5 Common Electric Dryer Repair Problems
Aside from the energy consumption, the power source will also affect the need for a ventilation system. Essentially, clothes dryers can either be vented or ventless.
Gas dryers always require a venting system, which is meant to expel the moist, hot air outside. As for electric dryers, there are ventless options available in the market, although they tend to be more expensive than usual.
Choosing between vented or ventless models is just a matter of needs and preferences. Both also have respective pros and cons.
Vented dryers generally cost less and more widely available, but they can be more expensive to operate. Furthermore, keep in mind that you should have enough space in the laundry room to accommodate the venting duct.
Ventless dryers, on the other hand, are more efficient to operate but are associated with higher upfront costs. Plus, you are only limited to electric models.
An electric dryer is typically easier to install than a gas model. More often than not, all that you need to do is plug the unit into a 240-volt outlet. Just make sure that the outlet and the breaker are heavy-duty enough to accommodate the dryer’s energy requirements.
As for gas dryers, installing the necessary gas lines can be pricey and labour-intensive, especially if you don’t have an existing gas line connection. And if natural gas services are unavailable in your area, you would need access to liquid propane gas, which will be kept in a large tank on your property. Last but not the least, there is the venting duct to think about as well.
Whether you like it or not, you have to accept that dryers may cause some wear and tear on your clothes over time. Naturally, you would want to choose a model or make that will damage your clothing and textiles the least.
As previously mentioned, gas dryers run hotter, translating to shorter, faster drying times. Since your clothes will be in the dryers for a shorter period, they are less exposed to wear and tear. On top of that, natural gas-powered dryers are often gentler on fabrics because they dry clothing more rapidly and at more specific temperatures.
But if you want to go for electric dryers, don’t fret. You can always choose a product with special features that can shorten drying times, helping preserve the longevity of your clothing.
Cost is always a critical determining factor when buying household appliances. Most clothes dryers in the market can be purchased as either gas or electric type. In general, gas dryers are priced higher than electric models, primarily because they use more expensive components.
However, it is important to note that some high-end electric dryers can be as costly as gas units – if not even more so. As always, it all comes down to the manufacturer and the model.
Another vital aspect of cost has to do with repairs. More specifically, you want to think about the costs associated with repairing or servicing your clothes dryer. Fixing a malfunctioning gas dryer tends to be more expensive. Again, this is mostly due to the fact that it uses more expensive parts.
Related article: What Is the Cost of Fixing a Clothes Dryer in Toronto?
When it comes to dryers, one is not better than the other. As always, it all boils down to unique needs, preferences, and circumstances. You need to assess these factors and understand the main differences between gas and electric dryers. Only then can you decide which one is right for you.
Whatever dryer you end up choosing, Prime Appliance Repair can help you with all your repair and maintenance needs. Even better, we service all major clothes dryer brands, makes, and models – wherever you are in the Greater Toronto Area.